The Batman director Matt Reeves will be developing projects within both DC Universe and DC Elseworlds. Responding to a fan on Threads, DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn confirmed that the filmmaker is making an Arkham series based within the DCU, the new timeline he’s crafting with co-chair Peter Safran. Originally, the series was meant to focus on the inner workings of the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD), as a prequel to The Batman film and touching on the corruption and the city’s infestation with volatile criminals. However, the project later evolved into the idea of a horror show set within the confines of Arkham Asylum, the psychiatric facility housing the most deranged villains from the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery.
“Right now, Matt is producing Arkham as a DCU series, so there’s just the two for now,” Gunn said, referring to director Reeves’ The Batman: Part II and The Penguin series for Max (formerly HBO Max) — both of which is part of DC Elseworlds, the alternate universe which does not tie into the mainline DCU canon. This is also where projects like Todd Phillips’ Joker: Folie à Deux and Teen Titans GO! will thrive, charting new tales of our favourite superheroes and villains, without hindering the continuity for fans. Interestingly, Gunn also added that the Arkham series was one of the first pitches he presented to Warner Bros. Discovery as a DC Universe project and that he had no knowledge of the changes it went through beforehand.
A day before his and Safran’s takeover as co-heads of DC Studios, the company brought in filmmaker Antonio Campos — best known for psychological thrillers like Simon Killer and The Devil All the Time — to serve as a showrunner and potential director on the Arkham Asylum show. Of course, being part of the DC Universe also means that Batman/ Bruce Wayne will be played by an entirely new actor, presumably the same one who will be starring in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. That film will be directed by Andy Muschietti (The Flash), with the added responsibility of introducing Bruce’s biological son Damian Wayne as Robin, who was trained by the League of Assassins for years. Robert Pattinson, who played the billionaire playboy vigilante in 2022’s The Batman won’t be reprising the role for DC Universe, because that’s how director Reeves wants to construct his BatVerse. It was planned as a standalone affair long before Gunn and Safran came on board, with plans to expand the universe via spin-off TV shows based on villains like Professor Pyg, Clayface, and Scarecrow.
Back in January, Gunn and Safran unveiled long-term plans for the upcoming chapter of DC Universe, which would connect storylines across films, TV, gaming, and animation projects. Dubbed ‘Gods and Monsters,’ the saga will platform new beginnings for well-established DC characters, starting with Superman: Legacy starring David Corenswet as Clark Kent and Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane — slated to release July 11, 2025. Then there’s a Creature Commandos animated show, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, Booster Gold, a limited series based on Amanda Waller, and more.
Currently, there is no release window for the Arkham TV series.