As a multi-project deal director, Matt Reeves is making a spin-off series for Robert Pattinson’s The Batman which will chronicle the Gotham City Police Department on HBO Max.
What an exciting time to be a DC fan! For Batman fans, there is no superhero fatigue, at least, WB and HBO Max are making sure of that. On one hand, we have Zack Snyder’s Justice League keeping us excited for mid-2021 release where Ben Affleck is reprising his role momentarily. On the other hand, we have Matt Reeve’s independent take, The Batman starring Robert Pattinson set for an October 2021 release.
And now WB has announced an HBO Max series set in Gotham City helmed by Reeves and written by Emmy winning scribe Terence Winter. But the news that has really gotten everyone excited – the series will share Robert Pattinson’s Batman universe.
Furthermore, the untitled project seems like a good break from the DCEU universe which is shaping in its own with Michael Keaton’s Batman reprisal.
Matt Reeves’ Batman Universe
As Variety reports, the series will serve as a prequel to the new Batman universe. The intent of the series is to spiral a multiplatform universe comprising of both the streaming service HBO Max and the big screens.
The criminal drama will chronicle the Gotham City Police Department. The show is set to build The Batman (2021) anatomy of corruption in Gotham.
In an official statement Reeves said,
“This is an amazing opportunity, not only to expand the vision of the world I am creating in the film but to explore it in the kind of depth and detail that only a long-form format can afford — and getting to work with the incredibly talented Terence Winter.”
Gotham City – The Real Protagonist Of Batman
The caped crusader is the protector of Gotham, where he lost his parents. The prevailing injustice and criminal activities of the city is what moves Bruce Wayne to become the Dark Knight.
In all the Batman iterations, Gotham is a crime-ridden city that needs saving. One exception to the rule is Todd Philips and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. But the common thread is crime and criminals in Gotham. But all the talented moviemakers – Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder, as well as Todd Philips – have been extremely careful about every detail of the crime-ridden city.
From the announcement, it seems like the untitled show is set in times before the Batman. That paves the way for Pattinson’s caped crusader similar to the Gotham show by Fox.
In Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, both Joker and Bane pose a great threat to the city that compels Bruce Wayne to bring forth his alter ego. Heath Ledger’s Joker as the antagonist is quite insightful about the human psyche that brings realism to his angst against the city and justification to his chaos. For Joker the ‘civilized’ are just a joke as he says,
Their morals, their code; it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. You’ll see- I’ll show you. When the chips are down these, uh, civilized people? They’ll eat each other.
Another point that Joker makes about the establishments is true to the real world, “Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos.”
Watch: The Dark Knight — Agent of Chaos Speech
Bane on the other hand wanted to save the Gotham city by his own reckoning.
A similar idea used by Todd Philips Joker’s climax. Joker in many senses can be Gotham’s real saviour. Philip’s version elaborates the theme in his own twisted way. The ’70s setting in 2019 Joker has a coarse feel to the place. Further, the city’s socio-economic condition becomes the reason for Arthur’s descent into madness.
Watch: Anarchy in Gotham| Joker 2019
Philips make sure that it always feels like it is a city about to go up in flames. At the start of the film Arthur asks his social worker “Is It Just Me Or Is It Getting Crazier Out There?” This one instance set the audience for a city ready to go up in flames.
Premise of Reeves’ Gotham City
Director Matt Reeves has been clear from the start that his Batman flick will cut slack on the origin story. His is the tale focussing on Bruce Wayne’s detective side. That’s surely one aspect that most iteration missed on Batman is a detective and an excellent one at that.
Behold the ‘Noir Batman.’
When Batman was launched in 1939, by Detective Comics, now DC his stories had a huge influence of the detective pulp of the times. Batman: Gotham Noir is a classic and director’s muse.
Reeves told THR, “It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.” Seem like Reeves is trying to take Batman back to its roots.
Given the intriguing lineup of villains, Riddler, Penguin, Carmine Falcone, and Catwoman and a possible Joker a lot of screen time would be needed. Reeves’ decision to debut Gotham first in a long format sets a great premise for the feature film. Also, making it the real protagonist of his feature! Whether Robert Pattinson’s Batman will appear in Matt Reeves’ spin-off is a question for another time.