HBO Max’s Penguin Series Has Cast Its Sal Maroni, So Does This Mean Two-Face Is Coming To The Batman Universe?
A year ago, the Batman film franchise was rebooted yet again with The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson in the title role, and directed and co-written by Matt Reeves. In addition to The Batman 2 being slated for a 2025 release, Reeves is fleshing out this corner of the DC multiverse with an HBO Max series centered on Colin Farrell’s Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. Penguin. The latest casting update from The Penguin is that the show has cast its Salvatore Maroni, leading us to wonder if this means Two-Face is also coming to The Batman universe soon.
Clancy Brown, who’s well-known for playing Byron Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption and will appear in John Wick: Chapter 4 later this month as The Harbinger, has been tapped to recur as mob boss Sal Maroni in The Penguin, per Variety. This will be Brown’s second time playing a live-action DC role, having previously appeared in The Flash Season 1 as General Wade Eiling. Brown also voiced Lex Luthor in many animated DC productions, and Marvel fans will recognize him as the voice of Surtur in Thor: Ragnarok and Thunderbolt Ross/Red Hulk in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., among many other film and TV credits.
Although The Penguin will introduce Clancy Brown’s Sal Maroni to the world, he’s hardly an unfamiliar name in this continuity. Maroni was mentioned multiple times in The Batman as having been arrested in the Gotham City Police Department’s largest drug bust, though it was later revealed that John Turturro’s Carmine Falcone and the corrupt officials within Gotham’s government set him up to take the fall. Maroni has previously been played in live-action by Eric Roberts in The Dark Knight and David Zayas in Gotham. In the comics, Maroni is best known for being the criminal who threw acid on half of Harvey Dent’s face, resulting in his transformation into Two-Face.
Between Clancy Brown playing Sal Maroni in The Penguin and district attorney Gil Coulson being blown up by The Riddler in The Batman, the pieces are in place for The Batman universe to introduce its own Harvey Dent. Gotham needs a new DA, and assuming that Brown’s Maroni makes it out of The Penguin alive, perhaps we could see him scar Dent in The Batman 2 or a later project, thus paving the way for another cinematic Batman vs. Two-Face clash. For now, since it’s been confirmed that The Penguin takes place one week after the events of The Batman, I’m curious whether Maroni will only be seen behind bars on the show, or if he’ll somehow be freed from custody and engage Oswald Cobblepot in a turf war.
The Penguin will also star Cristin Milioti as Sofia Falcone, the late Carmine’s daughter, and Rhenzy Feliz, Michael Kelly, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Deirdre O'Connell have been cast in undisclosed roles. It’ll be a while until we learn when the show premieres to HBO Max subscribers, but we’ll pass along that bit of news and other updates as part of our upcoming DC TV shows coverage.