The Batman HBO Max Gotham PD Spin-Off Is On Hold, Has 'Evolved' To Focus On Arkham

Bat-verse enthusiasts, we have encountered a minor setback: "The Batman" HBO Max Gotham PD spin-off show is now currently on hold due to a shift in focus to Arkham, as per a report by Games Radar (and director Matt Reeves himself). While "The Batman" takes place in the second year of the masked vigilante's crimefighting days in Gotham, the Gotham PD show was originally set as a prequel to the film, exploring year one in Batman's mission, with the police force at the nexus of the narrative. Now, things have changed. 

Exploring the horrors of Arkham

While the show being on hold is definitely a setback for those looking forward to witnessing Reeves' vision again in terms of the socio-political atmosphere of Gotham along with the gradual evolution of Batman's relationship with the GCPD, the decision was made with a creative shift in perspective in mind. Josh Horowitz of the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast tweeted the following audio snippet of Reeves confirming the hold wherein he explains his original inspirations for the show, which focused on how corrupt the GCPD was during year one of Batman's vigilantism:

Now, instead of being a story about corrupt cops that infiltrate the system to aid Gotham's elite, the focus has shifted to Arkham Asylum, which is home to many characters from Batman's rogues' gallery. Although no additional details have been revealed, Reeves clarified the following about this shift in focus, in a conversation with The Cyber Nerds:

"The GCDP thing, that story has kind of evolved. We've actually now moving more into the realm of exactly what would happen in the world of Arkham as it relates coming off of our movie, and some of the characters, again in their origins that you would – almost leaning into the idea of – it's like a horror movie or a haunted house that is Arkham. The idea of, again the way that Gotham is a character in the movie, I really want Arkham to exist as a character, so that you go into this environment and encounter these characters in a way that feels really fresh. And so in our work on Gotham, that story started to evolve, and it started feeling, 'Wait, we should really lean into this.' And that's kind of where that's gone."

While a show specifically looking to explore Arkham in its own right, as a character with potential horror roots, is definitely a good direction to veer into, there are no details as to how and when the project will materialize. Fret not, as another spin-off focusing on Colin Farrell's Penguin is already in the works, which will trace Oswald Cobblepot's rise through Gotham's underworld, making it a standalone story worth being excited about.

"The Batman" is currently playing in theaters. The film will stream on HBO Max on April 19, 2022.