Of all the characters in the DC Comics universe, Batman just might be the most enduring. The caped crusader has been keeping Gotham City's streets clean on the big screen since 1942 and TV since 1966. There have been a full dozen Batman films since Michael Keaton iconically played Bruce Wayne in 1989, but there's only been a handful of TV appearances in total. That's about to change with a brand new series on HBO Max. These details about The Batman spinoff show how wide-open the playing field is to do a new series in the Batman universe.
When Robert Pattinson was announced as the new star of Matt Reeves' The Batman, it brought a jolt of unexpected energy into the franchise. The film, which is currently slated for 2021, resets the Batman story to Bruce Wayne's younger playboy years and is reportedly unconnected to either the Justice League franchise or the 2019 Joker film.
The movie, it turns out, will be connected to HBO Max's newest Batman series, which will be set in the Gotham City police department. According to a statement from HBO Max, the show will expand the movie's take on the comic book hero, providing more insight into the characters as well as the corruption within Gotham. The series will also, according to the statement, launch "a new Batman universe across multiple platforms," which means it's a pretty big deal to the fandom.
Here's what we know about the upcoming show so far:
1. Will Robert Pattinson Be In HBO Max's 'The Batman' Spinoff?
Streaming is known as the place film stars go to make TV shows. But it was notable that the announcement for The Batman spinoff for HBO Max did not mention Pattinson as part of the deal, and emphasized the Gotham Police Department instead. If Pattinson had agreed to show up, even as just a cameo appearance, Warner Bros. would most likely be hyping that to the moon and back... unless his possible connection to the series is being kept under wraps for some reason.
Though fans can (and probably will) hope for a surprise Pattinson appearance, chances are, the actor isn't going to be part of the series. Instead, it will probably be more like Agents Of SHIELD, in which none of the Avengers show up, even as the characters find themselves cleaning up the aftermath of their adventures.
2. Who Stars In The Spinoff?
At this point, it is not confirmed who will star in this Gotham-based story. However, since the new show is set within the Gotham City Police Department, it's possible that Jeffrey Wright, who plays Gotham City police department commissioner James Gordon in the upcoming Batman film, could hop over to the series as well. Wright already is known for prestige TV shows such as HBO's Westworld and the upcoming Marvel's What If... on Disney+, so he would be a strong anchor for the series.
As for who else might show up from the film, if Fox's Gotham is any guide, it will probably be a villain-laden world. Among the famous baddies that turned up in Gotham's five seasons: The Penguin, Selina "Catwoman" Kyle, The Riddler, Carmine Falcone, The Executioner, Mad Hatter, Tigress, and Fish Mooney.
3. Which Villains Will Show Up?
The number of villains graced the last Gotham show fits in with what fans know about the upcoming The Batman movie. It's also a villain-heavy cast: Zoe Kravitz will play the new Catwoman; Paul Dano will be The Riddler, John Turturro is playing Carmine Falcone, and Colin Farrell plays The Penguin.
How many of their characters will be a part of this spinoff remains to be seen. With so many villains to choose from, it seems a good bet the answer is "several." Since the show is set in the same universe as the new movie, it's likely HBO Max will want to have the same actors carry over the roles. Notably, two of the actors involved in the movie recently appeared in the HBO series. Kravitz was in both seasons of Big Little Lies, and Turturro starred in The Plot Against America.
4. Will 'The Batman' Tie In To The Arrowverse?
So far, Warner Bros. (mostly) keeps the TV version and the film version of the DC Comics universe separate. For instance, there is a TV Arrowverse Flash (Grant Gustin) and a DC Films Flash (Ezra Miller). But the two branches aren't above teasing that maybe both exist simultaneously. (Miller did a guest cameo appearance in the TV Arrowverse crossover in 2019.)
But The Batman is an outlier on the big screen. Like 2019's Joker, this film is not tied to the interconnected Justice League films. Those films have their own grizzled, older Batman with Ben Affleck was playing the caped crusader, and Michael Keaton reportedly in talks to take over the role.
That means The Batman could join the rest of its TV brethren and be part of the Arrowverse, which currently has a Batwoman, but no Batman. Or it could be a third, utterly separate strain of comic book stories. Time will tell.