cast away

The Penguin Rises

Colin Farrell and Cristin Miloti. Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images and Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Friendship with the man obsessed with bats is over; the man obsessed with penguins is my new best friend. HBO Max has ordered a new show set in the universe of the recent Matt Reeves–directed The Batman. That film, for reference, debuted the Robert Pattinson version of Batman, not the currently still-maybe-around Ben Affleck version of the Batman in the Snyder-verse or the extremely recent Christopher Nolan version of the Batman. Nor is this universe the same as the Joker-verse (as in no Lady Gaga, mainly). Okay, cool. This new show, however, will not be focused on any version of Batman at all. Instead, it focuses on Colin Farrell as the Penguin, one of Batman’s opponents. With all the various Batman and Batman-hater universes flying around, below find everything we know about the eight-episode HBO Max series The Penguin.

How are they making a The Batman spinoff?

The Penguin is set to follow the titular man, known outside his penguin-sona as Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, or as the press release announcing this show referred to him: Oz, which isn’t that much cooler. (Go by Oswald, you dork!) Oz’s whole deal is that he’s a part of the mob as a lieutenant of Carmine Falcone, the mob boss. In this version of The Batman, Falcone is also the father of Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman — a fact that is pretty interesting given that Sofia Falcone will be in the show too. The show will concern both Sofia and Oz, who are fighting for control of Gotham, according to Deadline.

Who’s in the cast?

Colin Farrell will return as the Penguin, while Cristin Millioti will play Sofia Falcone. Per Deadline, Clancy Brown will recur as rival mob boss Salvatore Maroni, while Marvel’s Runaways star Rhenzy Feliz will join the DC Universe in a currently unnamed role. The only other cast members that have been announced so far are Michael Kelly, Shohreh Aghdashloo, and Deirdre O’Connell — all playing yet-to-be-revealed characters. However, it seems altogether possible that John Turturro, who played Carmine Falcone in The Batman, could be back, or even Kravitz as Selina Kyle.

When’s it coming out?

That falls under the “no idea” category. Farrell has confirmed that the show was set to start production in February 2023, so it likely won’t be out super-soon, but it is notable that it is one of the only DC properties that won’t be affected by a recent shift in leadership. Basically, since it’s not part of the mainline, Snyder-verse, Affleck-ed DC Universe, the fact that there are new heads of DC Studios should not affect this particular show. Any more information than that is currently a riddle (Paul Dano’s version).

HBO Max’s The Penguin Rises