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The Penguin, HBO Max’s upcoming The Batman spinoff, has found a director to helm the first two episodes. Filmmaker Craig Zobel has joined the series, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. He will also executive produce the show, which hails from writer and showrunner Lauren LeFranc and is based on the world filmmaker Matt Reeves created with The Batman.
The Emmy-nominated Zobel has an overall deal at HBO, where he earned acclaim directing the entirety of The Mare of Easttown.
The Penguin stars Colin Farrell as the villain he played in The Batman earlier this year — with help from heavy makeup and prosthetics to turn the handsome leading man into the grotesque bad guy Oswald Cobblepot. Discussing Film broke the news of Zobel’s involvement in the series.
Zobel has had a head-spinning few years. His Universal and Blumhouse film The Hunt was unceremoniously canceled in 2019 amid political controversy, only to be revived for a March 2020 release as one of the final films to open before the coronavirus pandemic shuttered theaters. He went on to earn acclaim for directing The Mare of Easttown, the HBO series starring Kate Winslet that became a sensation last year and earned him two Emmy nominations. In the world of features, his credits also include Z for Zachariah.
HBO Max handed out a straight-to-series order for The Penguin in March, just days after The Batman opened in theaters. While a number of projects, including HBO Max’s Batgirl, fell by the wayside following Warner Bros.’ merger with Discovery, The Penguin is among those moving forward. It hails from Reeves’ 6th & Idaho Productions and Dylan Clark Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. 6th & Idaho’s Daniel Pipski executive produces, with Rafi Crohn serving as co-executive producer.
Penguin is one of several Batman spinoffs in the works from Reeves, who has an overall deal at Warners.
Zobel is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Jackoway Tyerman.
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