Robert Pattinson's The Batman proved to be a hit with audiences, critics, and at the box office, delivering what many believe to be the greatest Dark Knight flick yet. Following the success, director Matt Reeves is setting course for a whole franchise centered around his take on Gotham with sequels and spin-offs in the works.
As Reeves develops the script for the highly-anticipated sequel, the DC filmmaker has also been working on two spin-off series for HBO Max. Arkham Asylum will serve as the backdrop for one "horror movie" inspired project, while Colin Farrell's Penguin leads his own spin-off that will begin production in February 2023.
Despite these plans, many have been concerned about the fate of The Batman sequels and HBO Max spin-offs amid the cancellation of several DC projects at Warner Bros. Discovery under the new regime. Now, a new deal signed by Reeves has offered a promising update in that regard as the franchise begins to expand.
The Batman Director Signs Exciting Production Deal
Deadline revealed in an exclusive report that The Batman director Matt Reeves and his production company 6th & Idaho have signed a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Reeves has also renewed his agreement with Warner Bros. Television Group, offering promising news for Colin Farrell's The Penguin and other future spin-off series.
The director previously had a first-look agreement with Netflix, offering them first refusal on any of his projects, but Reeves had been dedicating so much time to The Batman universe that the jump to Warner Bros. was a logical step for the filmmaker.
Warner Bros Pictures Group co-CEO Michael De Luca shared the division's commitment to Reeves and his work, promising he has "an open invitation to go wherever his interests take him:"
“Someone like Matt, we’ll buy for him whatever he wants to do. We’re making an investment for whatever Matt feels a pull toward, in the Batman universe and otherwise. He has an open invitation to go wherever his interests take him. We’ll lean into whatever Matt wants to do."
Reeves commented on the "dream" deal and described his excitement at delivering "captivating stories" that he is "truly passionate about:"
“Making this legendary studio my home is a dream. I am so excited to be working with Mike, Pam, and Channing and our teams to bring captivating stories I am truly passionate about to the big and small screen."
DeLuca revealed the studio is in "the beginning stages" of planning HBO Max's The Penguin and noted the desire to keep the filmmaker in the Warner Bros. family:
“Pam and I gratefully inherited the relationship with Matt from The Batman, and through the beginning stages of planning The Penguin series for HBO Max. We were excited to nail down his overall deal because it’s a cornerstone of what we want to do with the filmmakers that are working at the studio. We want to create an atmosphere where all of these filmmakers can excel and do their work and stay with us once they are inside the Warners family. Keeping Matt and creating a home for him to do more projects in the Batman universe, but also originals was very important to us.”
The deal is the first to come out of Warner Bros. since the completion of the Discovery merger and the change of management regime at the studio. The update bodes well for the future of Reeves' Batman franchise and the subsequent spin-offs that many believed to be in jeopardy amid the cancellation of other HBO Max DC projects.
How Will The Batman Universe Expand Next?
With The Penguin expected to enter production in February 2023, the Colin Farrell-led HBO Max series ought to be the next entry in Matt Reeves' DC universe, likely in 2024. As news has currently been quiet on the Arkham Asylum-centric project, that ought to come at some point after The Batman sequel, which has still yet to be formally green-lit.
On the topic of the sequel, Reeves is currently writing the script with co-writer Mattson Tomlin. But once that has been finalized, Warner Bros. may try and get production moving rather quickly. As the studio is clearly eager to make the new Gotham into a cinematic universe in its own right, that ought to introduce even more spin-off-worthy characters.
As Pattinson has been introduced as a much younger take on The Dark Knight, Warner Bros. has the opportunity to tell the full Bat Family story in this world. Perhaps one-day characters such as Dick Grayson will enter the fray to become Robin and one-day Nightwing as the young Jason Todd takes his place, eventually leading to the Red Hood storyline.
Reeves truly has the potential to tell the definitive Batman story with this world over the years to come, and this new deal will only further that goal. Beyond The Batman, Warner Bros. will also now have first refusal to distribute on any of Reeves' other projects, although this take on Gotham appears to be his focus for now.
While this new DC world may not currently occupy any heroes beyond Batman, maybe fans will eventually see Pattinson's Bruce Wayne play alongside other Justice League icons. But even if that never happens, Reeves may still take on a role in building the new DCEU as Warner Bros. crafts a team of creative leaders to form the future of the franchise.
Whatever happens, the future of The Batman franchise and Matt Reeves' Hollywood career is bright at Warner Bros. But for now, The Batman is streaming on HBO Max.