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The Batman HBO Max series is a prequel set in Year One

Matt Reeves sheds light on the spinoff project

batman and the gotham pd in The Batman (2021) Image: Warner Bros. Pictures
Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Warner Bros. Pictures won’t release The Batman until October 2021, but make no mistake: the company and DC Comics are all in on writer-director Matt Reeves’ vision. Along with the rebooted Batman film, which gets back into production in September, HBO Max announced in July that it will also produce a TV series spin-off written by none other than Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter.

At DC FanDome, Reeves, who will produce the series with Winter, reflected a bit on what to expect from the show, which will focus on the Gotham Police Department. In conversation with actress and comedian Aisha Tyler, Reeves said the Gotham PD series will focus on the department in the Batman universe’s “Year One,” as the “masked vigilante” — that’s Batman — “starts to unsettle the city.” That technically makes the show a prequel to the movie, which Reeves describes as following “Year Two” Batman.

As we all know, Gotham City’s police department has been steeped in corruption, and Reeves said the series will center on that — corruption in Gotham that “goes back many years.” In particular, Reeves said, the show will be from the perspective of one particular crooked cop. “The story is actually a battle for his soul,” Reeves said.

Viewers will recognize familiar characters within the DC universe, but Reeves noted there will be “entirely new” characters created by Winter for the show.

There’s still no release date for the HBO Max series, but The Batman will hit theaters on Oct. 21, 2021.