Gotham City PD: Writer Regrets Not Doing HBO Max’s Batman Spinoff


Joe Barton’s “The Batman” spin-off series “Gotham City PD” has been reimagined as an Arkham Asylum horror show directed by Antonio Campos.

Joe Barton looks back at what could have been.

TV screenwriter “Giri/Haji” took over”The BatmanHBO Max spin-off series, tentatively titled “Gotham City PD” Terence Winter (“Boardwalk Empire”) was very briefly attached as showrunner, but was later replaced by Barton. At the end of the day, Discovery of Warner Bros. decided to part ways with the concept entirely and reimagined the series as a “horror movie or haunted house” centered on the mental institute of Gotham arkham asylum, according to executive producer Reeves. “The Staircase” showrunner Antonio Campos is now to cross the series.

“It was pretty chaotic when I was doing my thing there, so in a way I couldn’t avoid the chaos. I think we were kind of the first wave of that chaos,” Barton said. about the discontinued series at Variety amid the Warner Bros. merger. Discovery, which also saw the shelving of the completed DC movie “Batgirl.”

Barton worked on the series for a year before leaving the project, calling it something he will always “regret” not bringing to the screen.

“I think the [Discovery merger] happened about halfway through the process, which had already been really, really difficult. I think that would have been really awesome and that’s why I feel gross, just because I know we would have put on a great show,” Barton continued. “And so that will always be a regret for me, because I just think it would have been really, really cool. But it just wasn’t.

Barton admitted that the scale of production would be “tough” if it ever reached that point. “Based on its development, its fucking craftsmanship, I think it would have been – yeah, fucking intense probably,” Barton said. “So in that regard, I’m pretty happy. It was really stressful. It was a really stressful time and I had been working there for a year, but I was doing it at the same time as that [‘The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself’ series], “The Lazarus Project” and a few other tracks. It was a bit crazy. But yeah, I guess I’ll always regret the show we could have done, but I think I’ll probably live longer without the stress it would have caused.

Writer/director “The Batman” Reeves previously compared the “Gotham City PD” concept to “Prince of the City” set in the first year before Batman’s origin story. “But it wasn’t going to be a Batman story,” Reeves explained earlier this year. “It was about this corrupt cop, and it was going to be about how the worst gang in Gotham was the GCPD and [Bruce] would have touched paths with Gordon [Jeffrey Wright]. It would have been someone to measure him against, but it would be a battle for his soul.

Reeves said the show was going to be “super cool, [but] they didn’t like the idea, they just wanted to center a show around a character that was more – I get it,” citing a change from such a corrupt track. “So I was like, OK. So maybe one day we’ll do this show. Instead, the Arkham Asylum series is in the works, along with a “Scarface”-esque “The Penguin” series starring Colin Farrell.

Meanwhile, screenwriter Barton has since been tapped to pen the new movie “Cloverfield” under the direction of BAFTA winner Babak Anvari. Of note, “The Batman” director Reeves previously helmed the first “Cloverfield” film and serves as an executive producer alongside JJ Abrams on the upcoming film.

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