'The Penguin' Series Starring Colin Farrell Officially a Go at HBO Max
By Stacy Lambe
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Colin Farrell is not done playing Oswald Cobblepot just yet. After a stunning turn as the iconic villain in The Batman, the actor will reprise the role in a limited series for HBO Max. While the series has been in the works for some time, the streaming platform officially gave it a straight-to-series order following the film’s massive debut in theaters.
According to HBO Max, “the DC drama expands upon the world filmmaker Matt Reeves has created for Warner Bros. Pictures’ global blockbuster The Batman and centers on the character played by Farrell in the film.”
“The world that Matt Reeves created for The Batman is one that warrants a deeper gaze through the eyes of Oswald Cobblepot. I couldn’t be more excited about continuing this exploration of Oz as he rises through the darkened ranks to become The Penguin,” Farrell said in a statement. “Will be good to get him back on the streets of Gotham for a little madness and a little mayhem.”
The series, based on characters created for DC by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, will be executive produced by Reeves, Farrell, Dylan Clark, and Lauren LeFranc, who will write and serve as showrunner.
“Colin exploded off the screen as the Penguin in The Batman, and having the chance to thoroughly explore the inner life of that character on HBO Max is an absolute thrill,” Reeves said. “Dylan and I are so excited to work with Lauren in continuing Oz’s story as he grabs violently for power in Gotham.”
LeFranc added, “I have long been a fan of the world of The Batman, and Matt’s film is such a powerful and bold entry into the canon. I am excited and humbled to continue telling stories in the grimy world of Gotham City -- and what better excuse to channel my inner villain than to tell the story of Oswald Cobblepot? I am thrilled to work with Colin, Matt, Dylan, 6th & Idaho, Warners, and HBO Max as we work to bring this story to the screen.”
Ahead of The Batman’s release, Farrell opened up to ET about his dramatic transformation into the character and what fans can expect from the spinoff series. “It was so fun to inhabit. I had such permission to just explore and create and use my imagination,” he said of playing around with Oz’s “mannerisms and behaviors,” which were previously foreign to him.
Previously described by Clark as being “almost like a Scarface story,” Farrell revealed the series will pick up where the film left off. “It’ll pick up a short time after the last frame of the film,” the actor said. “So, we’ll get to go on a little kind of left turn off to the world of Oz and how he’s beginning to kind of dream of filling a potential power vacuum that may exist.”
While The Penguin is still early in the creative process, he’s excited about what’s to come. “I read a few things that Lauren wrote and it’s kind of extraordinary the route that she’s going in,” Farrell said, adding it’s “just really tasty stuff.”