Warner Bros. Reportedly Changes Plans for The Batman's Arkham Asylum ‘Horror’ Spin-off

By Russ Milheim Posted:
The Batman Arkham Asylum show

The Batman is now in theaters worldwide, and it’s wiping the floor with the competition at the box office. The Matt Reeves-directed film has now become the second-highest-grossing movie debut in theaters since the pandemic started—coming in behind the clear leader in Spider-Man: No Way Home. With such strong momentum, it’s doubtful that Warner Bros. will want to keep the Batman IP dormant for long.

Besides being within the next five years, the release date for Robert Pattinson’s next outing as the Dark Knight is unknown. Thankfully, fans won’t have to wait long to be submerged into that new world once more.

HBO Max has two shows set in the same universe that are in development for its streaming platform. 

One of them will follow The Penguin as he rises to power in Gotham following the events of the first film. The second show is Gotham PD, which was originally said to take place a year before The Batman and follow the infamous police department.

However, it looks like plans may have changed drastically for that second show. Instead, it seems the core focus may be taken off the police and placed firmly on Arkham Asylum.

Changing Plans Shift To Horror

Batman arkham

In an interview with The Cyber Nerds, The Batman’s director Matt Reeves revealed how the upcoming Gotham PD show on HBO Max has evolved and changed.

Reeves mentioned how the overall story has "evolved" into the realm of “the world of Arkham as it relates coming off of [The Batman],” and that the project is more “like a horror movie,” relating the infamous Asylum to “a haunted house:”

“The GCDP thing, that story has story has kinda evolved. 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… almost leaning into the idea of… it’s like a horror movie or a haunted house that is Arkham. 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.”

There is No Gotham PD, Only Arkham Asylum

WARNING: The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Batman.

When Gotham PD was announced, there were plenty of skeptics. This was rightfully so; after all, audiences had just recently gotten Fox’s Gotham, which had only recently concluded.

The two shows hardly sounded all too different, and initial concerns didn’t believe that they’d differ enough.

However, this new shift towards Arkham Asylum, including the horror vibe, is a fantastic move on Reeves’ part. Now there’s no doubt that the creatives will be able to tell a story unique enough to stand on its own.

But who will feature in it? The director’s words seem to confirm the show will now be set after the movie, instead of before like originally.

This means that Paul Dano’s Riddler and Barry Keoghan’s Joker will be behind bars. So, in theory, they should show up at some point in the plot. The case should be the same for Pattinson’s Batman himself, seeing as most of these high-profile criminals are put in there because of him.

With how infamous this maximum-security prison is, it’s surprising how little focus it's received in live-action media. Hopefully, Reeves and co. have something truly special being cooked up for fans that’ll make the wait until The Batman 2 much easier.

The Batman is playing in theaters worldwide.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.