‘The Batman’ Spinoff Series Starring Colin Farrell as Penguin in Development at HBO Max; How Will He Compare to Danny DeVito’s Portrayal?

The hype for Matt Reeves’ The Batman will carry on even after the film premieres. The Bat-Verse is set to expand to HBO Max with a new television show centered around one of the movie’s villains. Colin Farrell, who plays the Penguin in The Batman, will reprise his role in the series on the streaming service. Given the news, fans wonder how well-received Farrell’s performance will be in both the film and the show.

'The Batman' star Colin Farrell wears a gray suit over a white button-up shirt. Farrell will be reprising his role as Penguin from 'The Batman' in a television show on HBO Max.
Colin Farrell | Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage

Colin Farrell is reprising his role as the Penguin in ‘The Batman’ spinoff series

Per Variety, Colin Farrell has signed on to star and executive producer a Penguin spinoff series from The Batman on HBO Max. Warner Bros announced the show back in Sept. 2021, but it’s now official that Farrell will reprise his role as Oswald Cobblepot.

The Penguin spinoff is the second The Batman spinoff series in development at HBO Max. The first one will focus on a corrupt police officer in the Gotham City Police Department. Joe Barton will serve as the showrunner.

In The Batman, Cobblepot is not yet the successful crime overlord that he is in the comic books. Kind of like Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne, the character of the Penguin is not fully formed in the film. The spinoff series will focus on the Penguin’s rise to power in Gotham’s criminal underworld, so it’s unknown if the series will take place before or after the events of The Batman.

Lauren LeFranc will write the script for the series. The Batman director Matt Reeves and producer Dylan Clark will executive produce the Penguin spinoff alongside Colin Farrell.

Colin Farrell underwent a massive transformation as the Penguin in ‘The Batman’

In the trailers for The Batman, Colin Farrell is almost unrecognizable as the Penguin. The actor discussed his transformation on the Happy Sad Confused podcast (via Collider).

“[The Batman makeup artist] Mike Marino is a genius. He’s an absolute and veritable genius. And that word gets thrown out a lot, but he is a drawing, sculpting, shaping genius. And he created this visage for the Penguin,” Farrell said.

“I mean, he and Matt [Reeves] talked about what physically the character stature would be, and I had been quite big for The North Water, and I didn’t want to naturally go big again cause I had a few little health things as a result of The North Water and I was just like, f***, this acting thing ain’t this important.”

Farrell continued, “I know the top actors that go up and down, and God bless them. I wish them good health. But for me, I think The North Water is the last time I’ll go up that much. So, we decided on a fat suit.”

Colin Farrell continued to praise Mike Marino and credited him for his performance as the Penguin in The Batman. He said, “When I saw what Mike did, the whole character made sense to me. I swear to God, I saw what he did, and I just went ‘OK,’ and I got really excited about it. All that to say that if anyone ever thinks what I do at The Batman is a decent performance, I’ll gladly take 49% of the credits.”

How will Farrell’s Penguin compare to Danny DeVito’s Penguin?

When many fans think of the Penguin, they immediately picture Danny DeVito’s portrayal of the villain in Batman Returns. DeVito’s interpretation of the character was over-the-top, dark, and one of the most iconic villains in the history of Batman movies. So how can Colin Farrell live up to DeVito’s legacy as the Penguin in The Batman and the spinoff series?

There’s no doubt that Farrell’s version of the character will be vastly different from DeVito’s. The Batman‘s Penguin is just coming into his own as the infamous villain, while Penguin in Batman Returns is more fully developed. But if Warner Bros. is confident enough in Farrell’s performance to produce a spinoff revolving around his character, then it must be noteworthy.

The Batman, starring Colin Farrell as the Penguin, premieres in theaters on March 4, 2022.

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