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The Penguin: The Batman prequel's cast, release date window, trailer, plot, and more

Fans of The Batman get a chance to return to the movie's world with The Penguin. Here’s all the details about the television continuation.

The Penguin
Image credit: Max

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Things aren’t what they used to be — and that’s a problem with one Oswald Cobblepot, who’s discovering that a Gotham City defended by the Batman isn’t necessarily one that fits in with his own personal plans. Spinning out of 2022’s hit movie The Batman (and leading into the sequel, due 2025), Max’s upcoming series The Penguin takes a look at what’s happening in the underworld now that there’s a new crimefighter cleaning up the streets at night.

Created by showrunner Lauren LeFranc and with The Batman writer/director Matt Reeves closely involved with its development, the television series sees Colin Farrell returning as Oswald Cobblepot, reprising his 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?

Oswald Cobblepot has drinks
Image credit: Max

According to Max’s promotional materials, the series is set to arrive on the streaming service in September 2024.

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. Post-strikes, production resumed in late November 2023, and the series wrapped in February 2024.

Filming took place in and around New York City, under the working title 'Boss,'. Soundstage work on the series was shot in Queens.

Has a Penguin trailer been released?

Watch on YouTube

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.

The first actual trailer arrived in March 2024, showing Cobblepot wax lyrical about the way things used to be in Gotham City — which is to say, respectful of crime bosses and filled with a lot of scared people. Judging by the brief glimpses of frowning and action intercut throughout the trailer, it’s a status quo he’d like to see return:

Watch on YouTube

What is The Penguin about?

Oswald Cobblepot lifts a finger
Image credit: Max

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.

Curiously, even with a teaser trailer for the show having been officially released, Max and DC are purposefully keeping information about the series’ plot under wraps. The official description of the show at time of writing is simply, “The next chapter in The Batman saga from Matt Reeves.”

Who is in the Penguin cast?

Oswald is angry
Image credit: Warner Bros.

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?

Batman confronts Oswald
Image credit: Warner Bros.

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. Though LeFranc is the series creator and head writer, Reeves is closely involved with the production and credited as an executive producer.

Will this be connected to The Batman Part II?

Bruce Wayne stares at a funeral
Image credit: Warner Bros.

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. This is, after all, officially “the next chapter in The Batman saga.”

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?

Oswald stands in front of a mirror
Image credit: Warner Bros.

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. Additionally, Helen Shaver will direct a number of episodes in the series.

Will there be a Penguin season 2?

Oswald stares at a fire
Image credit: Warner Bros.

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.

Where can I watch The Penguin?

Oswald is surprised
Image credit: Warner Bros.

The Penguin will be available to stream on Max in September 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.

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