BatmanGate? Matt Reeves Won’t Direct ‘The Penguin’ Spin-Off for HBO Max


CBR is reporting that although Matt Reeves is heavily involved in the creation of Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot’s upcoming HBO Max spinoff series, The Penguin, he will not be the one to direct it.

“Matt’s up to his bollocks, you know, hovering over the keyboard and just planning the story because he’s just so meticulous,” Colin Farrell said. “He’s so obsessive about what he does, but he’s all over [HBO Max’s] The Penguin [series] as well. I mean, he’s not gonna direct it but he’s all over the structure of the scripts and who’s gonna direct them. And so, it’s exciting.”



This report may not be related to, but comes in the wake of the recent bombshell that Matt Reeves, and his producer Michael Uslan, stole the script for The Batman from a former DC Comics writer named Chris Wozniak who had pitched the to Uslan back in 2008 after meeting at New York Comic Con.



After seeing the film on home video, Wozniak believes his script was made almost beat for beat by Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. Pictures for their blockbuster hit film The Batman.


“My very first reaction as soon as Paul Dano called him “Bruce Wayne” was to pause the movie and call Chris Batista (DC Comics) instantly, says Wozniak. “I remembered he was one of the artists I had pitched the story to in recent years because he made a comment that we didn’t really need the Joker in the end… By the end of the film when the “Mysterious Joker” walked in I was losing my shit.”


Wozniak says when Michael Uslan’s name appeared in the credits, he immediately tried to reach out to Uslan through his Facebook page, but found that the producer had unfriended him. The following morning, Wozniak requested all of his electronic correspondence and emails from his email provider from 2006 onward. Once he realized Uslan and Warner Bros. were ignoring him, Wozniak then began to assemble a video to share his proof to the world.


BATMANGATE : The Scandal Behind The Screenplay



While the movie grossed over $770 million dollars globally, Wozniak says that neither the producers, nor the studio, ever reached out to him or bothered to negotiate any kind of contract to make sure the he was fairly compensated for his original story.


“I would LOVE a credit on the film. My daughter would be so proud of me,” shares Wozniak “but honestly, I’m a single Dad with a 10 year old girl. I have her future to think of.” When asked how he thinks this could be cleared up, he points to Michael Uslan first. “My gut feeling is that this is Uslan’s fault. I think Warner Bros and maybe even Reeves will ask him to clean up his own mess and leave them out of it.”


To add insult to injury, DC Comics just announced a “Riddler Year One” comic. The most intriguing aspect is the creative team: Paul Dano, who played the Riddler in the film, is attached to write the comic with art from Stevan Subic, rather than hiring an experienced comic book writer.  According to  SlashFilm, Dano revealed that the comic was the result of him coming up with a backstory for his character, and then discussing those ideas with Reeves on the set of “The Batman”:


“One night, I was on set with Matt Reeves, our director, and I said, ‘My backstory, I saw this image, and this image, and this image,’ and he said, ‘That should be a comic,’ I secretly had that in mind, that it could be. I don’t know if I would have had the sand to go through with it, but the next day on set, Matt Reeves said, ‘I spoke to DC; they want to talk to you.’ And I said, ‘Great’ … Frankly, it’s turned into a whole other thing, it’s taken on a life of its own, and I think it’s really cool.”



Dano credits Reeves and his conversations on set with the director as the reason for the comics’ existence. 


Wozniak has started a fundraising effort to try and mount a legal fight.  Meanwhile, HBO Max’s The Penguin does not currently have a premiere date. “Riddler: Year One” is set to release in October 2022, just in time for Halloween.


Chris Braly

I'm a collector, a speculator, and one opinionated, based geek. My friends call me Braly, but those who know me within the hobby generally refer to me as Bralinator. I try to steer this tiny ship and can often be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several low-level, other comic book nerds. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly