The Penguin to debut on HBO; second DC property to become a HBO Original

DC's The Penguin will now be a HBO Original series.
The Penguin. Max original.
The Penguin. Max original. /

Today, Deadline announced that the highly anticipated next chapter of Matt Reeves’ The Batman Saga, The Penguin, will now be released under the HBO brand umbrella and will no longer be exclusive to Max (although it will still stream there). It becomes the second DC TV series to do so (although it will be the first to air), as it feels that all bases are being covered over Warner Brothers and DC Studios. 

The crime drama will now follow Lanterns, which was just recently greenlit as a HBO Original after being envisioned for the Max streaming platform too. These DC shows won't be alone in their changes, as Deadline's report also confirmed that Dune: Prophecy will follow the same strategy ahead of a fall release date. Both it and The Penguin will officially air on the cable network, while still being available to stream on Max simultaneously (an approach that HBO and Max have successfully made work for juggernaut shows House of the Dragon and The Last of Us). 

The Penguin looks to a game-changer for all parties involved, as the footage paints Gotham City from The Batman to be as dark and grimy as it was in the Robert Pattinson-led film, but also alluding to a world we haven't yet seen from the genius of Matt Reeves and everyone attached to the universe. The recent trailers do a great job of showing where the events of this spin-off will transpire, which are confirmed to be one week after The Riddler flooded the city, and left in a state of chaos.

It will be interesting to see if The Penguin's journey touches upon what Batman is up to, as he is now a guardian of justice and hope, and if the film sets the stage for the sequel, potentially foreshadowing what Reeves has planned for The Batman - Part II. Of course, we can acknowledge that all signs point to the main focus being on the criminal element, particularly who will take over as the Kingpin of Gotham in the wake of Carmine Falcone's death.

Colin Farrell as The Penguin.
Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot in The Penguin. (Photograph by Courtesy of Max) /

The official cast for The Penguin includes Colin Farrell (The Penguin / Oswald Cobblepot), Cristin Milioti (Sofia Falcone), Rhenzy Feliz (Victor Aguilar), Michael Kelly (Johnny Viti), Shohreh Aghdashloo (Nadia Maroni), Deirdre O’Connell (Francis Cobb), Clancy Brown (Salvatore Maroni), James Madio (Milos Grapa), Scott Cohen (Luca Falcone), Michael Zegen (Alberto Falcone), Carmen Ejogo (Eve Karlo), and Theo Rossi (Dr. Julian Rush).

Lauren LeFranc (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) is on board as showrunner and exec producer along with The Batman writer-director Matt Reeves. Executive producer Craig Zobel (Mare of Easttown) directs the first three episodes.

Dune Prophecy is the latest chapter in director Denis Villeneuve's critically acclaimed cinematic vision. Still, one thing to note is that the filmmaker is hands-off from the project, as his focus is more geared towards writing the third film, Dune: Messiah, which is set to be released in December 2027, with filming set to begin in 2025. In the meantime, a brief teaser showcasing and offering a taste of what fans can expect, along with a synopsis, was released last month

Mark your calendars because The Penguin and Dune: Prophecy will premiere on HBO this fall. 

Matt Reeves’s The Batman is currently streaming on Max. 

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