The Arkham Asylum HBO Max series, which will spin out of Robert Pattinson's The Batman, just got a promising update.
While The Penguin spin-off is all set to go, the future of a second, long-gestating Reeves-world project focused on the infamous prison remains a question mark.
When James Gunn came on as co-head of DC Studios, fans still consistently heard about both The Batman Part II and The Penguin. However, even after a partial slate announcement, nothing more is known about Arkham Asylum.
Even before Gunn came aboard, everything wasn’t smooth sailing. At one point, Matt Reeves was planning on a Gotham PD series, but that's now gone silent as the much-whispered-about Arkham Asylum spin-off took its place.
A Promising Update for Arkham Inmates
In response to a Twitter user asking if The Batman spin-off focused on Arkham Asylum was still happening, The Penguin producer Daniel Pipski offered a blunt response.
Pipski had only one thing to say: a simple thumbs-up emoji—sparing no details.
Even a small update such as this is a promising one, especially after so much uncertainty coming out of the shifting situation behind the scenes at Warner Bros.
Some of the most recent news from the in-development series came last year when Variety reported on a new writer joining the show.
Antonio Campos boarded the series not only as a writer but also as its showrunner and executive producer—provided his version of the project goes forward.
The same report also claimed that Matt Reeves’ previously planned Gotham PD show is not as dead as everyone believed it to be. It remains alive and is an entirely separate project.
Reeves previously showed interest in including Barry Keoghan’s Jokers, who first debuted in 2022’s The Batman, in some of these spin-offs.
While speaking to Variety, Reeves told the outlet how “there might be places” for The Joker to pop back up:
“There might be places… There’s stuff I’m very interested in doing in an Arkham space, potentially for HBO Max. There are things we’ve talked about there. So it’s very possible. It also isn’t impossible that there is some story that comes back where Joker comes into our world.”
What's Happening in Arkham Asylum?
So what would an Arkham Asylum-focused story look like?
Well, one obvious choice would be to involve Barry Keoghan’s Joker somehow. After all, the actor previously noted how he’d “love another crack” at the role.
Possible storylines could also introduce other iconic foes, like Hugo Strange and Victor Zsasz, or could explore what life in prison is like for Paul Dano’s Riddler.
While the potential in a series set within Arkham is vast, it’s hard not to feel like it would be missing out if it didn’t involve Batman around every corner.
While The Penguin can easily give Oswald Cobblepot his own agency outside of the Caped Crusader, one would imagine it’d be much harder to do that in the place where the hero dumps all of his number one enemies.
The Penguin is set to hit Max at some point in 2024, while The Batman Part II debuts in theaters on October 3, 2025.