Colin Farrell has officially signed on to continue portraying fan-favorite Bat-villain, The Penguin, following the release of The Batman this March. The series would be executive produced by The Batman director Matt Reeves and film producer Dylan Clark, presumably to air on HBO Max.
The series is expected to portray the character’s origin and his rise to the top of Gotham City’s criminal underworld. The Penguin is one of Batman’s earliest archfoes from the comics and is generally portrayed as a suaver, more erudite (and saner) counterpart to many of the other villains in Batman’s Rogue Gallery, such as The Joker, Bane, and the Riddler. However, much like Danny Devito’s version of the character in the Tim Burton films, Farrell’s Penguin appears to be something of a reimagining unlike fans have seen before. In the trailer, the character is spitting hard-boiled dialogue that could be straight out of a depression-era gangster movie.
Farrell is no stranger to comic book movies, having portrayed Daredevil’s arch-nemesis Bullseye in the 2003 Daredevil movie. However, he is also lauded for his acting in more arthouse-oriented fare over the last few years. His performances in Seven Psychopaths, In Bruges, and The Lobster all draw acclaim.
The new Batman, Robert Pattinson, has primarily focused on offbeat roles following Twilight, so the casting seems in line with the forthcoming film.
Lauren LeFranc is attached as showrunner for the series. LeFranc already has hands-on experience with superhero fare, having written for Agents of SHIELD as well as serving as showrunner for the HBO Premium series, Impulse, which featured a young woman dealing with powers of teleportation.
The Penguin series will be the second DC series to stem from the latest iteration of the Batman franchise, with plans already in the works for a series focused on the Gotham City Police Department. If both make it to air, they will join James Gunn’s Peacemaker series as a TV offering that stems directly from the current DC film universe.
The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as The Batman, Farrell as the Penguin, and Paul Dano as The Riddler, will be released in March 2022.