Today brought some major DC news, as it was announced that The Batman is set to get a spinoff TV series based around the Gotham City Police Department. We’re told to expect similar projects to come in the future as part of Warner Bros.’ aims to create an expanded multi-platform franchise around Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight. Yes, this new show – based off Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka’s comics series Gotham Central – will take place in the same universe as the movie.
The news of this Gotham Central show, you see, hides a bigger confirmation about the nature of The Batman. In a statement released via The Hollywood Reporter, HBO Max – which will stream the series – stated that it will be “set in the world Reeves is creating for The Batman feature film and will build upon the motion picture’s examination of the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City.” This is significant, as it’s the first time we’ve had it officially revealed that Matt Reeves’ film is set outside the DCEU and will carve out its own space in the DC multiverse.
When Ben Affleck walked away from the project, it was widely assumed that The Batman would become a prequel about the early days of the Batfleck Batman’s crime-fighting career. When Robert Pattinson was cast, however, we started hearing that his take would be totally disconnected to the established franchise. Now, it seems WB ultimately took things in this direction so they could create multiple spinoffs.
The benefit of starting afresh and not connecting it to the DCEU is that Affleck’s Batman is an experienced vigilante with much of his time as protector of Gotham behind him. In contrast, Pattinson’s is just starting out and so all these projects are free to build up a universe as they please. For instance, Nightwing and Batgirl movies have been reported before.
The untitled Gotham Central-inspired HBO Max show is still in its early stages, so it’s unclear whether Jeffrey Wright will reprise his role as Jim Gordon. The Batman, meanwhile, is swooping into theaters on October 1st, 2021.