The Batman Robert Pattinson in the study

DC Comics’ plans for an extended universe connected to Matt Reeves’ The Batman have been rather interesting to behold, especially with an untitled HBO Max tie-in series losing its previous showrunner. As HBO stalwart and Boardwalk Empire creator Terrence Winter was supposed to be the talent in charge of running the series, his abrupt exit left a sizable hole in the Batman-related series’ plans. Today, the show's staff just got some great news, as Joe Barton has been hired as the new showrunner to bring this latest iteration of GCPD corruption to the small screen.

Better known as writer/creator of the crime series Giri/Haji as well as the screenwriter behind the Netflix horror film The Ritual, Barton’s latest gig was announced by THR mere months after Terrence Winter had thrown the project into a bit of a questionable spot. As Joe Barton’s resume includes crime dramas and horror, it sounds like his hiring could be just the blend of skills that give The Batman’s HBO Max tie-in series the edge it needs.

Acting as a prequel to The Batman’s not-so-origin story of Bruce Wayne’s second year of crime fighting, the untitled series is thought to be inspired by the Gotham Central run of comics. Though no confirmation has come out as to whether this is the exact approach that will be followed Matt Reeves and his collaborators, the kernel of the series’ idea is quite simple.

HBO Max’s branch of The Batman’s universe will follow a current unnamed officer who is corrupted but not totally on the take. The push and pull between both sides of this Gotham City PD officer’s psyche is where the series is digging in, so we’ll have to wait and see what further developments provide in terms of storyline. Obviously, it’s still early days, and Joe Barton’s new position as showrunner will leave him with the opportunity to tweak the tone and shape of the series to his own personal sensibilities.

Given the sandbox Barton is now playing in, he has the opportunity to do some pretty interesting things. One would hope that he keeps things fresh all while honoring the Dark Knight's comic book roots. And maybe this could include a cameo or two from some some famous characters?

There are still a lot of unknowns surrounding the HBO Max series that is intended to help flesh out The Batman’s Gotham City. Since Matt Reeves’ film has been pushed to a March 2022 release date and there’s no indication as to whether this prequel will actually precede its cinematic counterpart, the potential release date is the greatest outstanding question.

However, as soon as we have new information that shines a light on the darkness of Gotham, we here at CinemaBlend will unmask the truth. Until then, we’ll be in the same position as Commissioner Gordon himself: standing around, wondering where the next clue will take us.

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