The Penguin TV show grew from Matt Reeves' idea for The Batman sequel

The Batman
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

The Penguin spin-off that's in the works at HBO Max grew from an idea Matt Reeves had for a potential The Batman sequel.

Colin Farrell plays the gangster in the new movie – although underneath enough makeup that he's near-unrecognizable – and the upcoming spin-off will chart his rise through Gotham's underworld.

Speaking to Variety, Reeves revealed that he mentioned to some Warner Bros. executives an idea that a sequel could follow Penguin's journey to becoming a crime boss. "And they were like, 'Oh, we want to do that as a show,'" the director said.

Beyond that, plot details for the upcoming Penguin show are thin on the ground, though Variety notes it's closer to getting its cameras rolling than the other spin-off in development, which will be about corruption in the Gotham City Police Department.

"We're doing one with Colin [Farrell, as Oswald Cobblepot], seeing Oz rise to power, almost like a Scarface story," The Batman producer Dylan Clark told our sister publication SFX Magazine in the latest issue. "It's exciting to do something like that just as a standalone, but it speaks to the character and our movie, so that you'll go back to the movie [and say], 'Oh, I see that backstory there, that line refers to this.'"

The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, while Zoë Kravitz is Catwoman, Paul Dano is the Riddler, Jeffrey Wright is Jim Gordon, Andy Serkis is Alfred, and John Turturro is Carmine Falcone.

The film arrives this March 4. In the meantime, check out our ultimate guide to watching DC movies in order to get up to speed on the DCEU – and see our interviews with Dano and Wright, as well as Serkis, for even more on The Batman.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.