Even before Matt Reeves' reboot of the Batman franchise starring Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader hits the big screen, the filmmaker has already finalized a deal for a Gotham P.D. spinoff show on HBO Max. When it was announced that the spinoff would be focused on the Gotham City police department, many comic fans assumed it would be an adaptation of the critically acclaimed Gotham Central comic series created by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka. But in an interview with Kevin Smith, Brubaker revealed that the spinoff is going to be something new, and focussed on Commissioner James Gordon.
"I was like 'maybe they're really going to make Gotham Central this time,' and so I reached out to a producer who works for Matt Reeves and he says, 'no, that's not really Gotham Central. They're making sure that they don't call it Gotham Central and it's more of a spinoff from the movie. It's like the James Gordon show."
Few details are known about the spinoff, tentatively titled Gotham PD, other than what Reeves had disclosed last year. The show is going to be a prequel to The Batman, which takes place in the second year of Batman's career as a crime fighter.
According to Reeves, the spinoff will explore the first year of Batman's appearance in Gotham, when "a masked vigilante...starts to unsettle the city". The series will explore the city's corruption that "goes back many years," and the story will be told from the point of view of a crooked cop, with the filmmaker adding that "the story is actually a battle for his soul."
Similar themes were explored in Gotham Central, which is why even Brubaker initially assumed the show was going to adapt his comic series. But he later learned that Gotham PD will include characters that Reeves created specifically for his Batman movies.
"I didn't even think about it when I was like, 'Is this Gotham Central?' and it's like, no, it's Gotham Central but with different, made-up characters from the movies, so I was like 'It's Gotham Central but with characters that Matt Reeves created instead. And Im like, whatever. Gotham Central was such a ripoff of Homicide: The Book, because Rucka and I were both obsessed with David Simon's Homicide book. We were being offered a revamp of Batman and the Outsiders and we talked and both of us had no ideas for Batman and the Outsiders and we just wanted to write about the cops in Gotham City."
Directed by Matt Reeves and written by Reeves and Mattson Tomlin, The Batman features an ensemble cast consisting of Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Colin Farrel as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/The Riddler, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone and Peter Sarsgaard as District Attorney Gil Colson. The film arrives in theaters on March 4, 2022.