Every upcoming DC project set in the ‘Batman’ universe
After years of anticipation, The Batman finally opened this March — and it couldn’t have been a bigger success. With its grounded tone and crime thriller leanings, director Matt Reeves’ movie earned rave reviews from both critics — who appreciated its elevation of the superhero genre — and hardcore fans — who favorably compared it to Batman films of the past. On top of that, The Batman earned over $750 million worldwide, becoming Warner Bros.’s highest-grossing release of the pandemic era.
Needless to say, then, expect much more from Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne and the world he inhabits to come over the next few years. The Batman was always designed to spawn a new shared universe that’s separate from the DCEU, and the studio is already pressing ahead with plans to grow out the Batverse, as Reeves has dubbed it, in multiple different directions.
But what exactly does Reeves have up his sleeves? Here’s every single DC project set in The Batman universe that’s currently in the works.
The Batman 2 and 3
First up, after The Batman exceeded expectations, obviously Warner Bros. is keen to move forward with the franchise in the form of a sequel or two. Both Reeves and Pattinson have discussed their plans to make a Batman trilogy, which may end up giving the Dark Knight films a run for their money.
“I’m down to do it as many times as people want to see it, really,” Pattinson said to Fandango, when talking about his desire to play Bruce for a long time to come. “I’ve talked to Matt about the idea of doing a trilogy. I really, really enjoyed the process, and it’s such a fun character to play.”
As for where the sequels could take the story, Pattinson has voiced his interest in the Court of Owls being introduced, with Reeves revealing that he’s open to adapting Robin and Mr. Freeze.
The Penguin spinoff series
Despite his iconic status and Colin Farrell’s acclaimed performance, the Penguin wasn’t that much of a key player in The Batman, with Oswald Cobblepot mostly serving as a red herring in Bruce’s investigation into the Riddler. But there’s still a lot more to explore with the character, as Warner Bros. is moving forward with a spinoff series for Farrell’s Oz.
Lauren LeFranc (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) will serve as showrunner, with Matt Reeves and Dylan Clark attached as executive producers. Compared to classic gangster movies like The Long Good Friday and Scarface, the limited series will chart the Penguin’s rise to the top of Gotham’s criminal underworld, filling the power vacuum created by the death of Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) in The Batman.
Arkham Asylum spinoff series
In addition to the Penguin’s show, the other HBO Max spinoff that appears to be in active development right now is a series all about Arkham Asylum, the home away from home for the Dark Knight’s many enemies.
Warner Bros. has yet to officially announce this one, but Reeves has spoken a lot about it in interviews. With Arkham being briefly introduced in The Batman, the spinoff will further explore the facility’s dark history and the origins of some of its insane inmates. Reeves has called Arkham a “haunted house” with the production expected to have a horror-influenced tone.
It’s too early for any cast or crew to be attached, but Reeves has hinted that Barry Keoghan’s Joker could reappear here instead of in The Batman 2.
Riddler: Year One comic book
The Batverse is already so sprawling that it’s expanding into another medium. In the wake of The Batman hitting cinemas, DC Comics announced that Edward Nashton himself (Paul Dano) will write his own character’s origin story in Riddler: Year One, a six-issue limited comic book series.
As the title suggests, Year One will be a prequel to The Batman that explores how Nashton became the unhinged yet ingenious serial killer/terrorist that we meet in the movie. Releasing through DC’s adult-oriented Black Label imprint, expect issues to drop bi-monthly beginning this October. With Dano scripting, the comic will be illustrated by artist Stevan Subic.
Catwoman spinoff series
When Selina Kyle left Gotham behind for Bludhaven at the end of The Batman, fans assumed this was setting up some kind of spinoff for Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman. Sure enough, Reeves has admitted that he’s had conversations with HBO Max about giving Selina her own show.
“I’ve talked to the HBO Max folks. What we’re really trying to do is to launch this world,” he told CBR ahead of The Batman‘s release. “If the world embraces this, we have a lot of ideas for things we want to do, and for sure we want Selina to continue…”
It doesn’t sound like this one is as far along the road as the Penguin and Arkham spinoffs, then, but we likely haven’t seen the last of Kravitz’s feline felon.
Gotham P.D. series
WB made an early start expanding the Batverse when it announced a spinoff focusing on the Gotham City Police Department (while The Batman was still filming) back in summer 2020. Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire) was on board as showrunner, with Reeves producing. The series was due to take place in the first year of Batman’s war on crime and be told from the perspective of a crooked cop.
Winter exited the project that fall, however, due to creative differences — HBO reportedly disliked the protagonist being a random cop instead of a familiar DC character. This year, Reeves confirmed what we all suspected, that the series was no longer moving forward. The Arkham Asylum spinoff was created in its place.
The Batman is streaming now on HBO Max.