Colin Farrell Confirms ‘The Penguin’ Production Start Date: ‘I Wanted More’ of Character with ‘The Batman’ Spin-Off

The detailed prosthetics required to transform into Oswald "Oz" Cobblepot were the "inspiration" for the HBO Max spin-off, which also stars Cristin Milioti.
The Penguin, The Batman, Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell as The Penguin in "The Batman"
screenshot/Warner Bros.

Colin Farrell is ready to dive back into playing The Penguin.

After appearing as mob nightclub owner Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot in “The Batman,” Farrell reprises the villainous role for an eponymous HBO Max spin-off series, which is set to go into production this February.

“The only thing I had an idea was that I wasn’t nearly getting to explore the character as much as I wanted to,” Farrell told Variety on the red carpet for the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala. “Because there was all this extraordinary work done by [makeup and prosthetics artists] Mike Marino and Mike Fontaine and his team, and I just thought it was the tip of the iceberg, pardon the pun, that we were getting to do the six or seven scenes that we did in the film. I was grateful for them, but I wanted more.”

“The Batman” producer Dylan Clark serves as an executive producer on the series, along with the film’s director Matt Reeves, whom Farrell confirmed last year will not be helming the series as he is hard at work on “The Batman” sequel. Farrell also executive produces the series.

The “The Banshees of Inisherin” star revealed that the detailed prosthetics that made him unrecognizable as the character is what sealed the deal for the spin-off, which he brought to Clark.

“Honest to god, any thought I had about an extended series was to do with Mike Marino’s work,” Farrell said. “I just knew there was so much to do with it — age it up, age it down. He’s just such a genius, Mike, so it was his work that was the inspiration, really.”

Antonio Campos will serve as writer and showrunner on the series, which also stars Cristin Milioti as Sofia Falcone, the daughter of John Turturro’s mafia boss Carmine Falcone. Production for the series will take five or six months, as reported by Variety.

Executive producer Clark previously explained that “The Penguin” series will show Oz’s (Farrell) rise to power, “almost like a ‘Scarface’ story,” as Clark told Games Radar. “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,’” he added.

Farrell said at the time, “We have to get into what made him the man he is. And also, it will pick up where this film finished off, I think. I think it’ll pick up a little short time after the last frame of this film. We’ll get to go on a little kind of left turn off to the world of Oz and how he’s beginning to kind of dream of filling a potential power vacuum that may exist.”

He continued, “It’s a lovely, lovely character, and explores vulnerabilities. His violence is apparent, his propensity for violence and his ability to use it as a tool is apparent, but [also] to see we all have soft spots. Every single person. And to be able to find that location, dig around it would be fun.”

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