Among the many superhero shows being worked on at HBO are several different Batman related television series. One is a Batman limited series which would be entirely separate from all other Warner Bros. superhero properties, with different actors and different plot lines that don’t connect to anywhere else. The other would be a Gotham based series directly connected to Matt Reeves upcoming movie The Batman.
This is what you need to know about both…
HBO’s Gotham City Series
The Batman will be released as a movie but the film’s director Matt Reeves is planning an entire universe based on the noir world he’s building for his Robert Pattinson starring feature. It’ll be exclusive to the HBO Max streaming service and here’s what Reeves has to say about it…
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 longform format can afford — and getting to work with the incredibly talented Terence Winter, who has written so insightfully and powerfully about worlds of crime and corruption, is an absolute dream.– -Matt Reeves on bringing Gotham to HBO Max
Reeves’ Gotham City series doesn’t currently have a title and the little we’ve heard about it make it sound a lot like this Gotham TV show that has already been on airwaves. It’ll be focused on the corrupt city itself and, I would suspect, Batman won’t be very involved. It seems a little been there done that, but hopefully there’s something unique here they just haven’t told us about yet.
HBO’s Batman Limited Series
The idea for it seems to be more in line with what HBO did with Watchmen. A one season and done live-action story arc for the Caped Crusader. The limited series is thought to be adapting one or several of of Batman’s Elseworlds tale. Elseworlds stories take established characters and explore what would have changed if something in their history had been different.
It’s possible this could end up being an anthology series, with every episode telling the story of a different Batman Elseworlds adventure. They may even have different actors playing Batman in every episode.
The latest is that at least one of the Elseworlds tale being adapted for Batman would have the Caped Crusader fighting none other than Dracula. In the comics world there are three Batman & Dracula Elseworlds story collections. They’re titled “Red Mist”, “Bloodstorm” and “Crimson Mist”. The HBO series could end up pulling from any or all of them for their odd limited series.
Casting Bruce Wayne
Ben Affleck has reportedly signed a deal with HBO to return as Batman in one of their Batman series (presumably Batman: Elseworlds). An official announcement is expected soon, very soon. Originally Ben Affleck had said he was done with the role, due at least in part to WB’s decision to scrap the Zack Snyder Batman universe. But with their stance changing and the Snyder cut being released, Affleck was willing to get involved again.
It’s also possible that recent interest in casting Ben Affleck’s girlfriend Ana de Armas as Poison Ivy could have been a factor in getting him back in his cape and cowl. More on that further down in this article.
In addition to Affleck, word is that because this is an alternate universe take on Batman, HBO is also considering casting the first ever black Batman for some part of the project. Near the top of their list for who they want is Daniel Kaluuya. You may not know his name, but you know his face…
He was a critical part of Marvel’s Black Panther. He also played the superhero Black Death in Kick Ass 2.
The Arkham Asylum Series
Among the numerous Batman projects in development at HBO Max is one centered around Arkham, the infamous mental asylum that houses the craziest criminals captured by Batman. Rumor has it that the show will largely revolve around the Arkham Asylum staff. How that will work is currently unknown, though my guess would be that this will be something of an anthology series. Each episode could have the same Arkham staff member as a main character but involve them in the life of a specific villain on the staff.
The show is supposed to involve nearly all of Batman’s major villains. Yes even the likes of Penguin and the Joker. Again, that only makes sense if indeed it is an anthology series. Otherwise you’d end up with a big, confusing, villain mess.
This particular HBO Batman project is still in very early development though, which means things can change.
Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy
HBO may be going all-in on creating limited television series based around DC Comics characters. One of the many shows they have in early development is centered around the infamous Batman villains Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.
They intend to get Margot Robbie back to play Harley Quinn, whether that will happen remains to be seen. But they’ll have to cast someone new as Poison Ivy and rumor has it that actress Ana de Armas may be up for the part. Ana de Armas is currently best known for her work in the hit movie Knives Out, where she starred opposite Daniel Craig.
Fans really seem to be behind the idea of Ana playing Poison Ivy, so much so that they’ve put together this concept art showing off what she’d look like as the plant loving villain…
Other rumors swirling around the production though suggest that they’re dead set on casting Poison Ivy as a woman of color. Ana de Armas is Cuban, but who knows in this strange race-baiting climate whether that actually counts.