Filmmaker Matt Reeves provided a bold new vision of the Dark Knight mythos in the hit 2022 film The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader. Following the early years in Bruce Wayne’s crimefighting career, The Batman presented a more atmospheric vision of Gotham City, perpetually drenched in rain and neon light amidst the urban decay. While pre-production is underway on the film’s sequel The Batman Part II, audiences can see a continuation of this cinematic world a year earlier with The Penguin, a Max original series.
Created by showrunner Lauren LeFranc and with Reeves closely involved with its development, the television series stars Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot, reprising his supervillain role from The Batman. Backed by an impressive ensemble cast and set in the immediate aftermath of the 2022 film, The Penguin not only offers viewers a chance to dive deeper into this world but sets the stage for 2025’s The Batman Part II. Though plenty of details about the upcoming series are still being kept tightly under wraps, here’s what we know so far about the Max series and its connections to The Batman and its sequel.
What is The Penguin release date?
Max’s promotional materials have currently simply listed The Penguin’s premiere date as “2024,” without providing a more specific release window for the upcoming series. Principal photography began in March 2023 and was expected to last through at least July before fully entering post-production. However, production was put on indefinite hiatus in mid-June due to the WGA strike, leaving both completion of filming, and release date, somewhat in doubt.
Filming was taking place in New York City, under the working title 'Boss,' with no other filming locations currently announced.
Has a Penguin trailer been released?
In April 2023, approximately one month into principal photography, Max released a teaser trailer confirming production was officially underway on The Penguin. Featuring a mix of behind-the-scenes footage and shots from the show itself, Oswald announces that guys like him have to take whatever they can get to survive. Rival mob boss Salvatore Maroni is seen confronting Oswald while FEMA is still active throughout Gotham, presumably from the flooding caused by the Riddler at the end of The Batman.
In between facing off against new enemies and recruiting others to help him solidify his grip on the city’s criminal underworld, Oswald is seen wining and dining Sofia Falcone, a daughter of the late Carmine Falcone who was murdered by the Riddler in The Batman. The teaser trailer ends with Oswald proclaiming himself “the new kingpin of Gotham” before giving its vague 2024 release window.
What is The Penguin about?
The Penguin follows Oswald Cobblepot, the former top lieutenant of Gotham City mob boss Carmine Falcone who ran the city’s criminal underworld until he was gunned down by the Riddler in The Batman. With Gotham still reeling from the Riddler’s last attack before his defeat by Batman and subsequent incarceration in Arkham Asylum, new figures rise to claim power amidst the widespread chaos. Determined to succeed Falcone as Gotham’s biggest crime lord, Oswald is ready to get his hands dirtier than ever to seize what he believes is rightfully his.
Who is in the Penguin cast?
Farrell reprises his role as Oswald Cobblepot from The Batman, with Cristin Milioti as Sofia Falcone, daughter of Carmine Falcone and a rival to Oswald’s rise to power. Rounding out the Falcone family is Michael Zegen as Alberto Falcone, Carmine’s son and Sofia’s brother. They are joined by Clancy Brown, who plays Gotham mob boss Salvatore Maroni. The Batman revealed that Maroni was the subject of a massive drug bust, instigated by Carmine who was an informant for the police at the time.
Other confirmed cast members include Rhenzy Feliz, Michael Kelly, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Deidre O’Connell, James Madio, Scott Cohen, Theo Rossi, Carmen Ejogo, Francois Chau, and David H. Holmes. None of these actors’ roles in the series have currently been announced though several appear prominently in the teaser trailer.
How is this connected to The Batman?
According to Farrell, The Penguin begins approximately one week after the events of The Batman, with Gotham still in disarray from the Riddler’s devastating attack that left the city flooded. The series not only explores the chaos left in the immediate aftermath but the power vacuum resulting from the murder of Gotham’s reigning mob boss Carmine Falcone as depicted in The Batman. Oswald, who had been one of Carmine’s major lieutenants, makes his own play for power to seize the criminal empire his former employer left behind.
It is unknown if The Penguin will contain flashbacks to sequences that occurred prior to the events of The Batman or how much time the main narrative covers. Other than Oswald himself, no other characters from The Batman have been confirmed to appear in The Penguin. Though LeFranc is the series creator and showrunner, Reeves is closely involved with the production and credited as an executive producer.
Will this be connected to The Batman Part II?
Given that The Penguin takes place so closely after the events of The Batman, it can be assumed that the Max series helps fill in the gap between the two films, ahead of The Batman Part II’s scheduled release in October 2025. It is unclear how the wider repercussions from The Penguin may impact The Batman Part II, though it’s a safe bet that the criminal underworld in Gotham City will reflect developments from the show.
If Oswald is successful in his bid to take over the Falcone empire, he may be a much more formidable opponent for Batman should the two cross paths again in the sequel. Without going into specifics, Reeves hinted that The Penguin will tie into The Batman Part II in a major way, potentially exploring the fallout from the gangland shake-up.
What is the Penguin season 1 episode count?
The Penguin has received an eight-episode order, with Farrell implying that each episode will run for approximately one hour, though runtimes have not been officially confirmed. The episodes are written by LeFranc, with the first three episodes in the series directed by Craig Zobel. Zobel has previously directed fellow HBO series The Leftovers, Westworld, and The Mare of Easttown. No other directors or writers for The Penguin have currently been announced by Max.
Will there be a Penguin season 2?
There has not yet been a definitive announcement if The Penguin is slated to be a one-and-done miniseries or have additional seasons planned. Any future beyond the first season likely hinges on the reception to the show and The Batman Part II upon the latter’s release in October 2025. The other major factor for a future of the cinematic universe spinning out of The Batman is how committed Warner Bros. is in its staying power and growth as Peter Safran and James Gunn launch their own cinematic universe starting with July 2025’s Superman: Legacy.
Where can I watch The Penguin?
The Penguin will be available to stream on Max in 2024, with no currently announced plans for the series to have a linear television broadcast on HBO. The Penguin will likely have a similar release strategy as fellow DC Max original series, Titans and Doom Patrol, which release new episodes on a weekly basis. The upcoming show will also likely have wide home video release upon the season’s completion, available on both physical home video and digital HD.
Keep track of all the upcoming superhero shows with our superhero TV show schedule.