Director Matt Reeves’ The Batman is currently set to be followed by an untitled police procedural drama television series for HBO Max. Now, the Gotham PD-focused series has tapped The Ritual writer Joe Barton to serve as the new showrunner.
The Batman spin-off began development in July 2020 with Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter on board as co-writer and showrunner. However, Winter stepped down from his role last year on account of his vision for the series no longer aligning with the plans of Reeves, who serves as co-writer and executive producer on the project, and other producers.
Variety has learned Barton will now takeover Winter’s role as both showrunner and executive producer on The Batman spin-off. In addition to penning the screenplay for director David Bruckner’s horror film The Ritual, Barton previously created and wrote BBC Two and Netflix’s drama series Giri/Haji. Forthcoming projects from Barton include Amazon Studios’ Invasion starring Riz Ahmed and Octavia Spencer, which he co-wrote with Michael Pearce, and a Netflix drama series based on the Half Bad books by author Sally Green, on which he will serve as a writer and executive producer. With The Batman spin-off, Barton joins Reeves’ on a team of executive producers that includes Daniel Pipski, Adam Kassan, and Dylan Clark.
Reeves’ The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as a young Caped Crusader and explores the second year of the DC hero’s career as a masked crime fighter. As the vigilante reckons with the depth of Gotham City’s corruption, he also comes into conflict with a serial killer known as The Riddler. Set during Batman’s first year operating as a vigilante, the HBO Max spin-off will further examine the extent and the history of Gotham City’s corruption from the perspective of a crooked GCPD officer. WarnerMedia intends for the series to be one aspect of its larger plan to launch a Batman universe across multiple platforms.
The latest reboot of the Batman film franchise isn’t the only upcoming DC feature to receive an HBO Max spin-off. James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad will pave the way for a series centered on Peacemaker, a newcomer to the DC Extended Universe portrayed by John Cena, who will reprise his role and also serves as a co-executive producer.
Guiding DC’s plans for Warner Bros. is Walter Hamada, who recently signed a multi-year deal to continue serving as DC Films president through 2023. In December, Hamada outlined plans to expand the DCEU by potentially producing HBO Max spin-off films and television shows for every DC film.
The Batman is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on March 4, 2022.