The Caped Crusader’s televised universe is growing with a new series in the works at HBO Max. Deadline reports a famous member of Batman’s rogue gallery, The Penguin, is set to star in a show based on the world being built by Matt Reeves’ (Cloverfield, War of the Planet of the Apes) film, The Batman. It is just the latest addition to a string of projects in the DC Universe coming to WarnerMedia’s streaming service.
According to Deadline, the series will examine the rise of the mob boss, known as Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, years before he self-identified with the winged-mammal moniker. Centering on Cobblepot, the series is described as being “Scarface-like,” tracking his maneuvers to become an infamously feared crimelord. The show is set to take place prior to the events of Reeves’ movie, which is set to be released in March of 2022.
Prior to this series, the Penguin has famously appeared three other times in live-action adaptations. According to Deadline, Danny DeVito (Twins, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) brought the deformed criminal to the big screen in Tim Burton’s (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas) Batman Returns. Fox cast Robin Lord Taylor (You, Accepted) as the nefarious hoodlum in their five-season series, Gotham. And before any of those depictions, the Penguin sported a purple hat and tux as Burgess Meredith (Rocky, Rocky II) took on the role in the 1960s series starring Adam West (Family Guy, The Fairly Oddparents). Colin Farrell (Daredevil, Widows) will appear as the notorious felon in Reeves’ movie alongside Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse, Twilight) as a young Bruce Wayne. There is no news whether he will reprise the role for the series.
Deadline reports Reeves will be joined by Dylan Clark (Bird Box, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) to executive produce the series. Under Reeves’ 6th and Idaho, the show will be a collaboration among Warner Bros. Television, DC Entertainment, and Dylan Clark Productions. The same team will be involved with the other spinoff HBO Max series, centering on Gotham City’s corrupt underworld through the eyes of a crooked GCPD officer. Joe Barton (giri/haji, The Ritual) is set to run that prequel series.
HBO Max will also explore other DC properties in televised formats including shows focused on Madame X and the supernatural antihero, Constantine. J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) is attached to executive produce both series.