WB Expands Shared Universe From Movies To TV With The Batman TV Spinoff
Robert Pattinson’s The Batman movie will resume filming soon after delays due to COVID-19. The movie is somewhat of a reboot of the existing DC Extended Universe’s (DCEU) Batman, last played by Ben Affleck. It’s a curious movie, as we’re still not entirely sure how it fits in with the rest of the universe. Especially when other versions of the DCEU still exist and are wildly successful, like Wonder Woman and Aquaman. To throw another quirk into the mix is a new The Batman TV spinoff set in the same universe as the movie.
The Batman And Current State Of The DCEU
Image via Warner Bros.
The DCEU was an attempt by DC Comics and Warner Bros. to mimic the model, and subsequent success, of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). However, due to a lot of criticisms, changes in direction, and other issues, the DCEU never fully landed, critically or commercially. Most recently, the culmination of the DCEU in Justice League will get the long-awaited Snyder Cut release on HBO Max in 2021. In the meantime, Wonder Woman 1984 is still set to release later this year despite COVID-19-related delays. And The Flash movie is still reportedly movie forward, possibly with Michael Keaton as another version of Batman. There is also another supposed soft reboot, with James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
So Matt Reeves’ Robert Pattinson starring The Batman is kind of a wild card as it relates to how it will fit into this DCEU. Or if it will even be a part of it at all. While the movie will most likely be a reboot, there may be loose connections to the older Batman played by Affleck. Only time will tell when The Batman finally releases in 2021.
Director Of The Batman Is Also Working On The TV Spinoff
Image via Matt Reeves’ Twitter.
A new report from THR announces a brand new TV series set to premiere on HBO Max about a police procedural set in Gotham City, home of Batman. While it’s not unprecedented, the most interesting aspect of this news is that the show is part of the same universe as The Batman movie. So the police officers of Gotham PD, will be living and working under the shadow of not just a Batman, but Robert Pattinson’s Batman.
It seems that the same world created by Matt Reeves for the movie will be the backdrop for the new police drama. Any stories about the Gotham Police Department almost always feature Commissioner James Gordon, the police liaison to Batman. Reeves’ Gordon in The Batman will be played by Jeffrey Wright, but no word yet whether Wright or Pattinson will appear in the new series. While Pattinson may be a long-shot, Wright has worked in both film and TV, most recently in Westworld for HBO, making his inclusion a pretty good possibility.
How The Batman TV Spinoff Will Affect The WB/DC Universe(s)
The MCU is somewhat unified with the shared universe from the movies, to the one remaining MCU TV show, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. WB, on the other hand, have been pretty diverse and scattered with their content. This is mostly due to the various rights that other networks and studios have of their properties. Most notable is The CW-verse of DC Comics properties that include The Flash, Stargirl, Black Lightning, Supergirl, and many more. There are also Titans and Doom Patrol with DC Universe, and the now cancelled Krypton from SyFy and Constantine on NBC.
Adding The Batman TV Spinoff into this mix is definitely interesting, but makes me wonder how it will work. The DCEU already, briefly, crossed over with the CW-verse in the recent Crisis event on The Flash, as both Ezra Miller’s movie Flash and Grant Gustin’s TV Flash met each other. However, The Batman TV spinoff will be the first time a WB movie and TV show exist in the same universe.
And there are already many different shows on air, set in the Batman corner of their respective networks. We’ve got a ground-level exploration of Batman-adjacent characters in Titans. And then there’s another story dealing with the absence of Batman where a character becomes their own hero in Batwoman. And not to mention the large elephant in the room.
Gotham Was A Thing That Existed A Little Over 1 Year Ago
Image via Fox.
Another show that aired on Fox had the exact same premise as this proposed The Batman TV spinoff. The series Gotham followed a young Jim Gordon and even younger Bruce Wayne through their formative years. The show received criticism for starting out as a police procedural, but devolving into a formulaic origin story for Batman’s villains. The show was a success and ran for 5 seasons.
Despite Gotham’s issues, the show portrayed a young Gordon and the challenges of Gotham PD in a lawless city. So I can’t help but wonder what other police-related stories around Batman are there to be told. If anything, the fact that Gotham became a show with much more Batman than they intended, shows just how difficult that is. But to be fair, the new series will be different, as Batman will have (at most) a minimal presence in the story. And there is no involvement of a young Bruce Wayne either.
And Reeves’ involvement the new series definitely alleviates my concerns as well. Reeves has already shown his incredible ability to build on the works of others. Early in his career he took over the rebooted Planet Of The Apes franchise with massive success. So we’ll have to wait and see how both The Batman and this new series work. Not to mention how they fit into this already huge DC Comics television landscape.
There is no release date for the new series as of yet.
What do you think about The Batman TV spinoff? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image via DC Comics.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.