Colin Farrell to return as Penguin in The Batman HBO Max spin-off

Colin Farrell in The Batman
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Studios)

Back in September, reports emerged confirming that Warner Bros. is currently developing a Penguin-focused The Batman spin-off series for HBO Max – but Colin Farrell’s return to the role wasn’t guaranteed.

Now, though, Variety has confirmed the Irish actor’s involvement in the project. As well as reprising his role as Oswald Cobblepot, Farrell will also serve as executive producer on the series.

Details are thin on the ground as to what the upcoming HBO Max show will cover, but those early reports suggest it’ll delve into Penguin’s rise to power in Gotham. We may get a better idea of the plot once we’ve seen Farrell in action for the first time in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which is due to be released on March 4, 2022.

We do know Lauren LeFranc has signed on to write the script for the series, with Reeves and The Batman producer Dylan Clark also in tow as additional project executives.

The move to grant Penguin his own spin-off show marks another piece in WarnerMedia’s plan to launch its own interconnected Batman universe in the vein of Marvel’s cinematic universe.

The studio already has a Gotham-set police drama in development, with British screenwriter Joe Barton attached as showrunner. Several other DC shows – like the Suicide Squad spin-off Peacemaker and J.J. Abrams’ Justice League Dark series – are also in the works. 

Will The Batman get a sequel? 

As for whether The Batman itself will mark the first instalment in a handful of Robert Pattinson-led caped crusader movies, we’ve spotted a few clues hinting at the possibility. 

Back in March, when filming officially wrapped on Matt Reeves’ Dark Knight project, actor Jeffrey Wright – who plays Commissioner Gordon in the upcoming movie – tweeted a cryptic message to fans that suggests he’ll be reprising the role in the future. 

Of course, “...for now” may instead refer to a separate TV or movie led by Gordon himself, rather than a direct sequel to The Batman, but given the scale of Warner’s investment in DC IP over the next few years, we’d be surprised if Pattinson doesn’t don the cowl for a second time. 

Besides, if Penguin is returning to the small screen, it's only right that Batman gets more than one chance to beat him to a pulp.

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.