The DC Universe is growing on HBO Max.
The streamer already has a slew of DC-related projects in the works, some with series orders and others in development including a spinoff of The Batman, and a J.J. Abrams-exec produced takes on Madame X and Constantine.
It is now also working up a series involving classic Batman foe Penguin.
Deadline understands that the project is in the early stages of development and is being exec produced by The Batman duo Dylan Clark and Matt Reeves. It comes from Reeves’ 6th and Idaho, Dylan Clark Productions, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. Colin Farrell is set to star.
Lauren LeFranc (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) is set to showrun the project.
It’s described as a “Scarface-like” series about the rise of the Penguin character.
The Penguin, otherwise known as Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, is a dapper mob boss and one of Batman’s primary villains. The character has been played by Danny DeVito in Batman Returns and Robin Lord Taylor in Gotham.
Colin Farrell is set to play him in The Batman, where the disfigured crime lord is not yet the crime kingpin and dislikes being referred to as the Penguin. In the movie, which is due out in March 2022 and is set in Batman’s second year of crime fighting, Farrell reportedly wears a fat suit and is described as unrecognizable. Farrell is expected to star in the series.
The Penguin development project joins the Joe Barton-showrun series, which is also set in Gotham. HBO Max gave that project a series commitment to the project last summer. It is designed to build upon the film’s examination of the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City, launching a new Batman universe across multiple platforms. Focused on the Gotham Police Department, the series will extend the world established in the movie and further explore the myriad complex characters of Gotham.
Reeves said last summer that this series is a prequel to his Batman Year Two movie, with the show set in Batman Year One when a “masked vigilante … starts to unsettle the city.” The series will zero in on the city’s corruption that “goes back many years” and is told from the POV of a crooked cop.
HBO Max declined to comment.
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