DC’s latest cinematic universe, or whatever you want to call it, begins with a squawk. Earlier today, in its attempt at burying entertainment journalists and TV viewers under an avalanche of announcements, the newly rebranded “Max” released a teaser for its upcoming The Batman spin-off, The Penguin.
Ditching the Zodiac-inspired mystery movie of Matt Reeves’ Batman reboot, The Penguin is something much more in HBO’s wheelhouse. Recalling The Sopranos in every way other than the title, Penguin sees a barreling, short-of-breath up-and-coming crime boss take on the Gotham underworld with a fearless gravitas. Though even more than Sopranos, it kind of looks like Batman Begins sans Batman.
Set a week after the events of The Batman, which left the already rain-slicked Gotham under a foot of water, Penguin gives Colin Farrell’s Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot an eight-episode miniseries to rise to power as the “new Kingpin of Gotham.”
Oz was more of a side villain in The Batman, giving Warner Bros. an in for the least likely Batman spin-off imaginable. Though, for what it’s worth, Farrell’s portrayal of the bird-brained mob boss was a highlight in the three-hour epic, with his line reading of “Holy God, what are you showing me? C’mon,” standing out as the best part of the movie. We can only hope that the show uses that line as his catchphrase.
The Penguin stars Farrell, Cristin Milioti, Rhenzy Feliz, Michael Kelly, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Deirdre O’Connell, Clancy Brown, and Michael Zegen. Reeves and Farrell serve as executive producers on the series, while Mare Of Easttown director Craig Zobel will direct the first three episodes. It’s unclear whether or not one of them will gift Oz a Big Mouth Billy Bass that will slowly drive him to madness. If Reeves needs an idea for a Penguin origin story, that’d be a good one. Mr. Reeves, you have our number. Please get in touch.