After the recent announcement of Warner Brothers and HBO Max developing a new series based on Matt Reeves The Batman film that will center around Gotham City and the many characters in it. In the hopes of The Batman and the new series Gotham Central succeed, Warner Brothers intends on expanding on the film into a shared universe that will bring forth other series and possibly solo films based on Batman’s Rouges Gallery. However, there are a few things Batman fans such as us who would like to see in this shared Batman Universe, these are the five things we want to see in an expanded The Batman shared universe.
Stay within The Batman film universe
This one might come off a bit controversial, but I believe to keep the authenticity of this universe it needs to remain within its own and not attempt to expand the universe too far out. A curse superhero films often face is when it attempts to try and expand a massive within the universe and not focus on the fundamentals of the development of a film. Which is where this new universe can shine, there is always room for expansion. However, they should stay within the world of Batman and his many characters. If they attempt to create a completely new DC Universe, it risks facing that same curse of taking too much time and attention to trying to explore beyond the world of Batman when in reality it should just stay within its own realm. Focus on compelling narratives and complex story telling that will have audiences becoming invested in these characters, rather than the larger DC Universe. The DC Extended Universe will be the one to explore those other characters, but in this Batman universe we don’t need the appearance of other heroes and villains throughout the DC Universe. Just keep it with Batman and his Rouges Gallery.
Insane Villains in Gotham Central
Recently many A-list villains have been making their way into solo films, with the critical success of Joker and the financial success of Venom and Suicide Squad. The demand of exploration in super villains has risen, in this case though we can leave the big budget films to A-list villains like Bane, The Penguin or Mr. Freeze. Which is where the B-list villains can start making their debuts on the small screen though different platforms like DC Universe and HBO Max. Many of Batman’s villains have such deep and personal stories that in some ways are relatable fans, Gotham Central can explore some of those darker and twisted villains. Giving some of Batmans more psychological driven characters to show and creating stories about the GCPD solving cases surrounding Mad Hatter, Professor Pyg or Victor Zsasz. Just these three examples are excellent for dark stories Matt Reeves and Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter to take on, as well as a realistic and gritty cases for Gothams law enforcement to take on. These villains background combined with Reeves and Winters writing along with the production value that Warner Brothers are willing to invest in Gotham Central would make for incredible television and another excellent series under DC’s belt
Modern Heroes and Villains
Adding onto the previous entry by exploring some of the lesser known villains. This shared universe also has an opportunity to dive into some of the new heroes and villains that have been introduced through the comics. Perhaps the introduction to some of Batmans lesser known sidekicks such as Orphan or Spoiler, or even another reiteration of Huntress. Characters that could really stand out though are villains like The Dollmaker who first appeared in September 2011 Detective Comics (vol. 2) #1 a mad doctor who creates abominations by stitching together different limbs and organs together. Perhaps the most recently intriguing villain is The Designer first appearing in the current run on Batman #90. A villain who has the ability to perfectly craft the perfect crimes for Gothams villains, this could give some amazing character development in the tv shows or movies for our other villains as well as major world building in what they are trying to achieve with this shared universe. Understandably, it would take just a little bit longer before we could actually get villains like this because they are fairly new and might need to be fleshed out more within the comic books before we can get their on screen appearance.
Different Perspective of Gotham Central
Fans and many audiences know who many of the GCPD heroes are. James Gordon, Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya have always been the center point of storytelling in the comics and cartoons. Gotham Central has a rare opportunity to introduce new characters and their dynamic with the already well known officers or with the evil they face in Gotham City. I am not saying it would be easy, but put us in the shoes of someone else for a change. Give us one or more characters to follow that will be so memorable and intriguing that they become a staple in the world of Batman. With this character, the writers can really take the time to show us just how the madness that unfolds in Gotham City has an effect on their mental health and their lives with family or friends. Crafting a story like this can offer us relatable moments we can grab on and hold onto for what would make for incredible television.
Everything that I have mentioned, wouldn’t be possible without mature rating. The cat is out of the bag, mature comic book entertainment is the hot new thing. What was once considered a terrible idea to do, comic book movies have become more mature and in turn has racked in a lot of money for studios. 2019 Joker was a massive success becoming the highest R Rated film of all time. The subscription service DC Universe has also found its fair share of success with Harley Quinn: The Animated Series and Doom Patrol. Lets not also forget the animated films like Justice League Dark: Apokolips War and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. This shared Batman universe should continue that trend by taking advantage of the mature ratings, giving us darker tones to the already dark world of Batman and the characters that live inside it. Giving a show or movie a mature rating isn’t used to just shock audiences, but to give us realistic look on the show or movie we are watching. So we are watching these events unfold we are not taken out of the experience, therefore raising the stakes and sucking us into this world of bats, clowns and criminally insane.
What are some ideas you have for this new shared Batman universe? Is this something that can work? What would you like to see out of these ideas?