WarnerMedia is building a Batman multi-platform universe.
HBO Max has given a series commitment to an original DC drama set in the Gotham City police department, from The Batman filmmaker Matt Reeves, Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter, The Batman producer Dylan Clark and Warner Bros Television.
Written by Winter, the series is set in the world Reeves is creating for The Batman feature and will build upon the film’s examination of the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City, launching a new Batman universe across multiple platforms. The series will extend the world established in the movie and further explore the myriad complex characters of Gotham. This marks the first project for Reeves under his recently announced major overall deal with the Warner Bros Television Group.
“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,” Reeves said.
It is unclear whether Batman will be among the characters on the show. Similarly set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does not feature any of the MCU’s famous superheroes.
Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max, president TNT, TBS, and TruTV, hinted at the streamer’s long-term plans for an integrated Batman universe.
“Our collaboration with Warner Bros and DC allows us to elaborate and grow fan connections across these powerful brands for years to come. This is Batman as most audiences have never seen before, and we know fans will want to spend more time in this new world inspired by the film,” Reilly said.
Warner Bros TV recently explored the Batman universe with another series set at the Gotham Police Department, Fox’s Gotham, which was set primarily in a time frame prior to Bruce Wayne becoming Batman. Also set in that world is Warner Horizon’s Epix series Pennyworth.
HBO Max is leaning heavily on the DC brand, partnering with Warner Bros TV’s top drama creators. Among the DC series in the works at the streamer are Green Lantern and Strange Adventures from Greg Berlanti and Justice League Dark from J.J. Abrams. Additionally, the platform is sharing Doom Patrol with DC Universe, has DC Superhero High and is the streaming home for the CW’s Batwoman.
“We are so fortunate to have such great partners in Matt, Dylan, and Terry and unprecedented access to a wealth of IP from our partners at Warner Bros and DC,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max.
It is very rare for have movie and TV series co-existing in the same universe at the same time. Marvel did it with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its Avengers movie franchise; Blumhouse and NBCUniversal did it with the Purge franchise, which spawned a USA series.
Reeves’ 6th & Idaho production company will produce the series in association with Warner Bros Television. Reeves and Winter will executive produce with Clark. The drama, which is based on characters created for DC by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, will also be executive produced by 6th & Idaho’s Daniel Pipski and Adam Kassan; Rafi Crohn will co-executive produce. Warner Bros International Television Distribution will distribute the series globally.
Reeves is currently at the helm of Warner Bros Pictures’ The Batman, which will be released in October 2021. He previously co-wrote and directed War for the Planet of the Apes, directed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, wrote and directed Let Me In, and directed Cloverfield. Recent 6th & Idaho TV series include Fox’s The Passage, Amazon Prime Video’s Tales From the Loop, and the upcoming Netflix drama Away starring Hilary Swank. Reeves previously co-created (with J.J. Abrams) and executive produced Felicity, directing the pilot and several additional episodes.
Winter won four Emmys during his tenure on HBO’s The Sopranos, twice for Outstanding Drama Series and twice for Writing for a Drama Series. He created the HBO drama Boardwalk Empire, which ran for five seasons and earned Winter two additional Drama Series Emmy nominations. He was nominated for an adapted screenplay Academy Award for The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese, who had previously helmed the Boardwalk Empire pilot. He and Scorsese subsequently co-created (with Mick Jagger and Rich Cohen) the HBO drama Vinyl.