‘The Batman’: What Will the Penguin Spin-off Be About?

The news broke earlier this week that HBO Max is developing a series starring the Penguin that will be a spinoff of The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves, as Variety reports. What do we know so far about the series? Who is involved, and what will the story be about?

Who will play the Penguin in the spinoff of ‘The Batman’?

Colin Farrell on the set of 'The Batman'
Colin Farrell as the Penguin on the set of ‘The Batman’ | MEGA/GC Images/Getty Images

Colin Farrell will play the notorious villain in the upcoming The Batman film. However, no deal has been agreed on about the series. But he has reportedly been approached about continuing his role in the spinoff.

Jonah Hill was approached for the movie role at one point, as Variety reports. And some fans wonder if he may be under consideration for the series. However, nothing has been confirmed as far as any possible involvement for the actor.

Meanwhile, according to Comicbook, other fans have proposed bringing Robin Lord Taylor on for the role. He played the Penguin on Fox’s Gotham, and his version of the character quickly became a favorite among many fans. But again, there is no information yet to suggest he’s being considered for the role. The likelihood right now is that Farrell will ultimately be brought on board.

What will the spinoff series be about?

The Penguin is, of course, among Batman’s most notorious villains, so there are plenty of possibilities when it comes to a possible plot for the HBO Max series. Reportedly, the series will take the audience back to the Penguin’s early days as a criminal. The series is said to give viewers a glimpse of the villains’ rise to power in Gotham’s criminal underworld.

This is a story fans of Gotham saw on that series, as well. There, the Penguin starts off as an assistant for Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). And through a fair amount of scheming, he climbs the ladder and becomes a powerful criminal in his own right.

What is the Penguin’s origin in the comics?

So if we’re going to see the early days of the Penguin’s rise to crime, what can we expect based on the comics? As a child, the Penguin, aka Oswald Cobblepot, is bullied for his height, weight, and birdlike way of walking. Thus the moniker.

But that doesn’t prevent him from enjoying birds. In fact, his parents own a bird shop and he spends a lot of time there, bonding with his feathered friends.

In some versions of his origin story, he turns to crime when his mother dies. In other tellings, he’s kicked out by his aristocratic family and resorts to a life of crime. He continues wearing high-society clothing, like the tuxedo and tophat, which contributes to his penguin-like appearance.

As with so many DC Comics characters, he shows up somewhat differently pre- and post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, and then again after the New 52 and Rebirth. But in all cases, he starts off as a lesser criminal, climbing the ranks and ultimately establishing a name for himself as an important Batman villain.

The Batman will hit theaters on March 4, 2022. There is no news yet on when production is expected to start for the spinoff series.

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