The Batman Prequel Series Not Moving Forward at HBO Max, Matt Reeves Says

The Batman TV Series

The Caped Crusader will not be coming to the small screen, after all: A planned spinoff of Warner Bros. Pictures’ new film The Batman, which was previously announced at HBO Max, has been shelved at the streamer.

The Batman director Matt Reeves broke the news on Monday’s episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, where he said, “One thing that we’re not doing that I was gonna do… So, there’s the Gotham police show, which, that one actually is put on hold. We’re not really doing that.”

When the potential spinoff was first announced in July 2020, it was described as a deeper examination of “the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City” that would launch “a new Batman universe across multiple platforms.” Later that year, at DC FanDome, Reeves explained that the show would serve as a “Year One” prequel to The Batman, chronicling “the first emergence, the first appearance of this masked vigilante that starts to unsettle the city” of Gotham.

“You start to see the story through the POV of these corrupt cops, and one in particular. And the story is actually a battle for [the cop’s] soul,” he elaborated at the time.

And while Reeves told Happy Sad Confused that the initial prequel idea was “super cool to me,” he said HBO Max and Warner Bros. were ultimately interested in telling a different story. Though he hopes to “maybe someday” revisit the Gotham City Police Department, Reeves also divulged to The Cyber Nerds in a recent Q&A that the project has since evolved into one that may focus on Arkham Asylum instead.

HBO Max still plans to explore the world established in Reeves’ The Batman film, by way of a spinoff series centered on Colin Farrell’s Oswald Cobblepot (aka The Penguin) from the movie. Farrell will reportedly star in and executive-produce the project, which will “delve into The Penguin’s rise to power in the Gotham criminal underworld.”

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