DC Hopes for a Series of Spin-Off Films for Villains in Reeves’ The Batman

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BY November 26, 2019

Christmas Day is very important this year. Not just because of the holiday, but because it will be when we are just 18 months away from the release date of the next film starring the Caped Crusader. As Warner Bros. readies for the third reboot of this character in the past 15 years, they still hope to spawn a universe. A new report suggests that DC hopes that the many villains in The Batman will lead to a series of spin-off films for their villains. Perhaps bolstered by the billion-dollar success of Joker, DC wants to build a connected Bat-verse around the world of Matt Reeves’ Gotham City. Recently, the director announced that Alfred would be played by Andy Serkis, and John Turturro will play mobster Carmine Falcone. (This lends credence to The Batman movie leaks that suggest this will be an adaptation of “The Long Halloween.)

Months ago, a rumor circulated thanks to Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman (now Fatman Beyond) podcast. They suggested the film would take place entirely in Arkham Asylum. The unnamed WB insider who spoke to Variety dismissed that rumor. But they did confirm that a portion of the film will take place there. While this comes as no surprise to spoiler-hounds, what the person said next is interesting. They said that if “the movie works,” both DC and Warner Bros. hopes to develop spin-off films for the villains in The Batman. Whether or not Robert Pattison’s dark knight detective will appear in those is not mentioned. The report notes that “key characters” in both this and Birds of Prey are signed up for more movies.

Into the Bat-Verse: Why DC Wants Spin-Off Films for Their Villains

The Batman Villains Spin-off films DC comics Image via DC

Warner Bros.’ last foray into a connected universe of DC comics heroes failed to land. Given the success of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam!, thinking in Hollywood was that they would focus on individual stories. Yet, with talent like Paul Dano as the Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, and Colin Farrell as the Penguin, it seems a new connected universe may be on the way. And let’s not forget Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman! These characters all appeared in previous Batman media. Thus, it’s not seen that important to give them “origin” films or standalone face-offs with Batman. Yet, if The Batman is the hit they hope it will be, spin-off films from DC telling individual stories about these villains seems like a safe bet.

Yet, one has to wonder if DC isn’t headed for the same problem on the film side as they were when the “Crisis On Infinite Earths” comic event first happened. With out-of-control continuity and multiple “Earths” to deal with, DC storytellers wanted to consolidate their storylines. Since Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman are vestiges of the old DCEU, it seems difficult for them to ever intersect with Pattison’s Batman. With the Arrowverse already doing the live-action adaptation of that story, it’s not even something the films could replicate to fix it. But perhaps they don’t care. If it works and sells tickets, the inconsistencies are something the fans just have to deal with.

What do you think? Would you like to see DC and Warner Bros. develop a slate of spin-off films for The Batman villains? Do you think an MCU-like universe of DC characters is still possible? Share your thoughts, theories, and hopes for the future in the comments below.

Featured image via DC


Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

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