Batman never entirely fades into the shadows, but he’s enjoying a new lease on life right now. Robert Pattinson’s turn as the Dark Knight in The Batman passed $500 million at the global box office in March, and is the highest-grossing film of 2022 so far. DC is planning a whole universe around this new incarnation of the Caped Crusader, including at least two spin-off series. One will take place inside the cells and corridors of Arkham Asylum, while the other will catch up on the early years of the Penguin — with Colin Farrell returning to the role he’s quickly made his own.
It’s a great time to be a fan of the Bat-family, as those are just some of the confirmed projects set to explore the heroes and villains of Gotham City.
One of the most intriguing upcoming series is The CW’s return to the Batman universe. Gotham Knights will revisit a familiar city, but won’t be a spin-off of Batwoman. Once the home of Smallville, The CW has had continuing success with DC-based shows over the past decade. The sprawling Arrowverse has dominated primetime since 2021. Shows like Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Batwoman and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow built a compelling and intertwined mythology, including high-concept, multi-series crossovers. The Arrowverse might just be the most successful attempt to bring the essence of comic books to the screen yet.
Although the Arrowverse may have peaked, as only The Flash and Superman and Lois have been renewed for new seasons so far, DC’s adventures on The CW aren’t over yet. Shows like Stargirl and Naomi continue, neither of which were confirmed to be part of the Arrowverse. Naomi even made an early point of stating that Superman was a fictional character.
Those shows are set to be joined by Gotham Knights, which has also been confirmed to sit outside Arrowverse continuity, but will present a new chapter in the Batman story. Reassuringly, it’s been developed by Arrowverse and DC show veterans Greg Berlanti, Chad Fiveash, and James Stoteraux.
The CW’s Gotham Knights is not to be confused with the upcoming video game of the same name. WB Games Montréal’s action role-playing game Gotham Knights will focus on the Bat-Family after Bruce Wayne’s mysterious disappearance. Its story will follow Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood as they try to uncover what happened to their mentor while coming into conflict with the Court of Owls, the chilling secret society that pulls the strings behind the scenes in Gotham.
The name ‘Gotham Knights’ is more than a pun. Both game and series are picking up on the comic title DC published between 2000 and 2006. Emerging from the epic No Man’s Land saga, the monthly series initially focused on the adventures of the extended Bat-Family, including Batgirl, Robin, Catwoman, and even Alfred Pennyworth. However, later in its run, the emphasis fell on Batman’s rogue’s gallery, which looks to be the inspiration for The CW’s new series.
What will ‘Gotham Knights’ be all about?
The CW’s story will branch in a very different direction from the game, although both take their starting point from a missing Batman. The series’ official synopsis sets out its intriguing premise:
“In the wake of Bruce Wayne’s murder, his rebellious adopted son forges an unlikely alliance with the children of Batman’s enemies when they are all framed for killing the Caped Crusader. And as the city’s most wanted criminals, this renegade band of misfits must fight to clear their names.
But in a Gotham with no Dark Knight to protect it, the city descends into the most dangerous it’s ever been. However, hope comes from the most unexpected of places, as this team of mismatched fugitives will become its next generation of saviors known as the Gotham Knights.”
There’s great potential in bringing ‘Gotham: the next generation’ to the small screen.
When will The CW’s ‘Gotham Knights’ be released?
*The following contains potential casting spoilers for The CW’s upcoming ‘Gotham Knights’ series*
We don’t currently know when Gotham Knights will be released. It is expected to air as part of the 2022/2023 season, but very few details have been released. While we wait for the airdate and news of how many episodes the series will contain, a slow reveal of the cast and characters has provided some tantalizing clues about the show’s story.
The adopted son at the show’s heart was thought to be Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing. However, recent casting suggests the show will introduce a new Robin. Oscar Morgan has signed up to play Turner Hayes, described as the “rebellious adoptive son of Bruce Wayne.”
Navia Ziraili Robinson has been cast as Carrie Kelley, the first female Robin to debut in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
Olivia Rose Keegan will play Duela Dent, a character more famously known as the Joker’s Daughter, although she’s claimed several high-profile Gotham villains as her father.
Misha Collins has revealed that he’ll be playing Harvey Dent. He’s notably listed as a District Attorney, suggesting that Harvey’s transformation into Two-Face will be a plotline in the series.
Fallon Smythe has signed up to play Harper Row, otherwise known as Bat-family member Bluebird. Harper’s brother Cullen Row will be played by Tyler DiChiara. As a series regular, it looks like the show will give the character a more significant role than he’s ever had in the comics.
Finally, Anna Lore will be Stephanie Brown, a character who’s been both Robin and Batgirl in the comics continuity and undertaken a journey that’s harrowing even for a Bat-family member. Stephanie Brown’s most famous vigilante persona is probably Spoiler.
Lore and Keegan’s casting confirmed that Gotham Knights will take place in a separate continuity to the Arrowverse. Different versions of both Stephanie Brown and Duela have previously appeared in Batwoman. Gotham Knights will be setting out a new future for some famous and lesser-known DC characters.
Gotham Knights will air on The CW.