‘The Batman’ HBO Max Gotham Police Procedural on Hold as Matt Reeves Eyes Arkham Asylum Series

"Gotham City, PD" will not be Reeves' next project in the Batverse after all. Instead, he's set his sights on an Arkham Asylum "haunted house" horror series.
THE BATMAN, from left: Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, Robert Pattinson as Batman, 2022. ph: Jonathan Olley / © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection
"The Batman"
Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

[Editor’s Note: The following story contains spoilers for Matt Reeves’ “The Batman.”]

The Caped Crusader prequel series just was put on pause.

“The Batman” writer-director Matt Reeves revealed during the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast on March 7 that the HBO Max spin-off series, tentatively titled “Gotham City P.D.,” is now shelved indefinitely.

“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,” Reeves said.

Reeves first announced the spin-off during DC Fandome in July 2020, setting the series as a prequel to the events of “The Batman,” which featured Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne in his second year as the superhero.

“The series was going to be kind of like ‘Prince of the City,’ where it was going to be year one because the movie is year two, and I wanted it to be the first appearance,” Reeves continued. “But it wasn’t going to be a Batman story. It was going about this corrupt cop, and it was going to be about how the worst gang in Gotham were the G.C.P.D. And [Bruce] would have touched paths with Gordon [Jeffrey Wright]. It would have been someone to measure him against, but it would be a battle for his soul.”

“Gotham City P.D.” marked Reeves’ first television series under his overall deal with the Warner Bros. Television Group. Reeves’ 6th & Idaho production company would have produced the series, which was going to be executive produced by Daniel Pipski and Adam Kassan. Rafi Crohn served as co-executive producer.

Originally “Boardwalk Empire” creator Terence Winter was very briefly attached as showrunner, but was later replaced by “Invasion” writer Joe Barton.

Reeves said the series was going to be “super cool, [but] they didn’t not like the idea, they just wanted to center a show on a character who was more — I get it,” citing a shift away from such a corrupt lead. “So I was like, OK. So maybe someday we’ll do that show.”

The series is now being retooled as an epic about Arkham Asylum, where in the film both the Riddler (Paul Dano) and spoilers the Joker (Barry Keoughan) end up as cellmates at the end of “The Batman.”

“We’ve actually now [moved] more into the realm of exactly what would happen in the world of Arkham as it relates coming off of our movie and some of the characters and their origins…almost leaning into the idea of, it’s like a horror movie or a haunted house that is Arkham,” Reeves told The Cyber Nerds. “The idea, again the way that Gotham is a character in the movie, I really want Arkham to exist as a character. You go into this environment and encounter these characters in a way that feels really fresh. And so in our work on Gotham, that story started to evolve, and it started feeling [like], ‘Wait, we should really lean into this.’ And then that’s kinda where that’s gone.”

“The Batman” fans can now also look forward to the “‘Scarface’-like” Penguin spinoff series starring Colin Farrell, which is in early development at HBO.

Reeves previously told Entertainment Weekly that the series would be an “American dream in Gotham” that charts the “time bomb” of Farrell’s Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin. The HBO Max series is part of the “Batverse” kicked off by “The Batman,” which broke $128.5 million domestically opening weekend.

“You don’t do a story and go, ‘This is Chapter 1’ because you might not get to do Chapter 2. So, the story had to stand on its own,” Reeves said. “But the thing about it is that the Bat world is so rich with character that as you’re starting to come to an end, you can already start thinking about the next thing. Because the idea, of course, is that Gotham’s story never ends.”

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