Even after confirming that Warner Bros would be developing sequels for Mortal Kombat, Variety wasn’t done having their fun. Yesterday, they revealed that HBO Max and WB were developing a Penguin spin-off series from next year’s The Batman. They also said that Colin Farrell had been approached to return but hasn’t yet signed on and that Lauren LeFranc will be writing the script for the series.
The show is said to “delve into The Penguin’s rise to power in the Gotham criminal underworld,” which sounds like a ton of fun. Any opportunity to delve into this already intoxicating world that Matt Reeves has created sounds good to me. I definitely hope that they can secure Farrell’s return, as it would be strange to recast or whatever else they might be considering. But, given the premise of the show, I’d say that John Turturro returning as Falcone could definitely be a possibility. However, the very vague plot given isn’t quite enough to make any educated guesses.
The addition of Lauren LeFranc to the DC world is very interesting. She isn’t entirely new to comic book television, as she had written a couple of episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for ABC. She also has experience on shows like NBC’s Chuck, YouTube Original Impulse, and she even wrote an episode of Hemlock Grove. She’s not new to the game, and I’m very excited to see what she can bring to the table.
This is now the second spin-off of The Batman that has been announced. It’ll be very interesting to see these shows happen to coincide in some way, as they are both prequels, but there’s no reason to believe that would be the case. As of right now, these two shows could be entirely different stories set on separate sides of Gotham, and I’m really excited to see what directions they go in. Given that we’ve only seen one trailer, I can’t imagine what more spin-offs might come after the movie comes out.
I’ll be curious to see where the film actually takes The Penguin. He seems to be like Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin from Gotham, kind of like a right-hand man to Carmine Falcone. But if the show decides to show his rise to the top, perhaps it will start before the movie and ends afterward. Honestly, just the fact that Reeves and the gang are willing to expand the story like this is exciting in and of itself.
Matt Reeves’ The Batman will be in theaters on March 4, 2022.