Matt Reeves’ The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as the Batman, still isn’t out yet and won’t be out until March, but HBO Max is already developing a spin-off series about its rebooted version of the Gotham City Police Department (which is going to be led by Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordon in the movie). Actually, scratch that: HBO Max is now developing two spin-offs of The Batman, with one being about the Gotham police and now a second one that’s going to be about the rise of Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin. Colin Farrell is playing the Penguin in The Batman, having transitioned to the Danny DeVito phase of his career as a handsome Hollywood man, but Variety says there’s “no deal” in place as of yet to have him reprise the role for this TV show. That seems like the sort of thing you would normally figure out first, since a Penguin show with the guy who plays the Penguin is a different prospect than a Penguin show with some other guy, but HBO Max hasn’t officially announced or confirmed this, so we’ll give Warner Bros. some slack this time.
Either way, we can’t help but point out that, just like with the last The Batman spin-off, this sounds oddly similar to Fox’s Gotham. That series was about the Gotham City Police Department and prominently featured the rise of the Penguin, as played by Robin Lord Taylor, which are the two basic premises of these two shows. Then again, there are only so many disparate stories you can tell within the established Batman framework, and The Batman does seem to be doing its own thing—tonally, aesthetically, whatever—from what Gotham did, so maybe these shows will all end up being completely different from each other.
As for the Penguin, he’s a successful Gotham City business owner who likes to dress nice and has a big nose, causing some people to compare him to a penguin. For no particular reason, he is regularly assaulted by a man who dresses up like a bat and has a similar jawline to billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne.