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‘Arkham Asylum’ TV Series No Longer Moving Forward At Max

Arkham Asylum The Batman

After years of hearing about different iterations of Max‘s Arkham Asylum TV show, it seems like the series is deader than an Arkham inmate’s victim. At least for now.

Per Variety, a drama set in Gotham City’s infamous asylum, which has been in development since 2022 by Antonio Campos, is no longer moving forward. That doesn’t preclude another take on Arkham Asylum, or another series set in the general universe of Batman. But this specific take is done for the moment.

The project has had a wild, circuitous path behind the scenes, starting as a spinoff of Matt Reeves’ The Batman in 2020. Initially, reports held that the series would focus on the Gotham City police department, and potentially star Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon, the role he played in the 2022 film. This was part of the early content push from HBO Max (as it was called at the time), with planned extensions of multiple franchises. In this case, The Batman was going to spin off into this potential GCPD series from showrunner Terrence Winter, as well as one focusing on Colin Farrell’s Penguin.

While The Penguin is indeed happening, and will debut on Max on September 8, 2024, after several significant delays, the GCPD series changed dramatically. Winter left the project later on in 2020, succeeded by Joe Barton. Barton also left the project, and in 2022 Reeves explained that a TV show focusing on the police department had somehow morphed into a TV series focusing on Arkham Asylum, instead. Seems like two different projects, but what do I know? I wasn’t in the room.

Things diverged even further when James Gunn and Peter Safran took over DC Studios, with Gunn explaining on social media that the Arkham Asylum series would be set in his in-development DCU, not in the same universe as Reeves’ The Batman.

However (and pure speculation here), with Gunn’s DCU having its own Batman separate from the Robert Pattinson Batman, they may want to establish their take on The Dark Knight in Andy Muschetti’s in development The Brave and the Bold before jumping right into all the Batman villains. Meaning whatever work was being done on Arkham Asylum would be for naught if it contradicted what could happen in the potential, upcoming film.

As is, you’ll have to make do with the multiple games focusing on Arkham, the comic books, the animated films, or any of the live-action films. But that’s it!

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