HBO Max Greenlights DC Series Based on World of Upcoming ‘The Batman’ Feature

HBO Max has given a series commitment to an original DC drama set in the Gotham City police department from The Batman filmmaker Matt Reeves, “Boardwalk Empire” creator Terence Winter, The Batman producer Dylan Clark, and Warner Bros. Television.

The series, to be written by Winter, is set in the world Reeves is creating for The Batman feature film and will build upon the motion picture’s examination of the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City, ultimately launching a new Batman universe across multiple platforms.

“The series provides an unprecedented opportunity to extend the world established in the movie, and further explore the myriad of compelling and complex characters of Gotham,” according to a press release.

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This marks the first television project for Reeves under his recently announced overall deal with the Warner Bros. Television Group.

“This is an amazing opportunity, not only to expand the vision of the world I am creating in the film, but to explore it in the kind of depth and detail that only a longform format can afford — and getting to work with the incredibly talented Terence Winter, who has written so insightfully and powerfully about worlds of crime and corruption, is an absolute dream,”  Reeves said in a statement.

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“We are so fortunate to have such great partners in Matt, Dylan, and Terry and unprecedented access to a wealth of IP from our partners at Warner Bros. and DC,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content for HBO Max, said in a statement.

“Our collaboration with Warner Bros. and DC allows us to elaborate and grow fan connections across these powerful brands for years to come,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer for HBO Max, and president of TNT, TBS and TruTV, said in a statement. “This is Batman as most audiences have never seen before and we know fans will want to spend more time in this new world inspired by the film.”

In addition to helming Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Batman, which will be released in October 2021, Reeves previously co-wrote and directed War for the Planet of the Apes, directed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, wrote and directed Let Me In, and directed Cloverfield, among other films.

Family Dynamics Build Conflict in ‘Lego DC: Batman — Family Matters’

Even though he’s a superhero, Batman can’t build a gadget to shield himself from family conflict in Lego DC: Batman — Family Matters.

Voice cast and creators were on hand at San Diego Comic-Con for the world premiere of the direct-to-video title July 21. The animated movie, which involves Batman, Batgirl, Robin and other superheroes facing off against Red Hood, who is obsessed with destroying the Bat-family and all of Gotham City, will be available Aug. 20 on Blu-ray, DVD and digital from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

“It’s kind of an analysis of Batman because he really is the head of the Batman family and there’s a responsibility that goes with that,” said director Matt Peters in an interview before the screening. “How would Batman the crime fighter deal with that? Is he ok with that? Is he comfortable with it? Is it something that he would like to relinquish? Is it something that he would like to take responsibility for? And that’s kind of the story for a hero as well.”

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In the feature, Batman faces different conflicts with several family members, including various Robins.

“You have Batman trying to struggle with being a superhero and a dad at the same time,” said Troy Baker, who voices Batman and noted he’s facing his own dad struggles with a  14-month-old son. “The past, present and future are kind of tag-teaming him because you have Nightwing … you have Jason Todd, you have Red Hood, you have Damian Wayne — we see how much of an important facet Robin is to Batman.”

Jason Spisak, the voice of Red Hood/Jason Todd, finds the disaffected character easily relatable for families.

“A Lego movie is a great chance to have a whole family watch it, and if there’s someone in the family who’s bitter and somebody who’s angst-ridden or whatever, they can see this play out on the screen and then at the end when Batman and Jason have a moment of reconciliation, they can possibly open that door in their own family,” he said.

Then there’s Batgirl to add some spice.

“With Lego, the humor is far more sardonic,” said Alyson Stoner (Batgirl). “There’s a sassiness and a snarkiness to her in this version.”

While the Lego direct-to-video projects involve a separate universe from the theatrical movies, they have the famous plastic brick world in common.

“We do work hand and hand with Lego,” said producer Rick Morales, adding, “I got to go to Denmark to actual Lego headquarters and work out with their team what they might create for their sets and talk about the possibilities.”

Legos make up all the sets for the DTV title.

“You can pretty much take anything that’s in this movie and build it straight up from Lego bricks,” he said. “It would cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. I wouldn’t recommend it. But most everything in here is really buildable, and we’ve even developed a library with our designers of CGI bricks that are legitimate in scale.”

“Honestly, it’s one of the coolest projects I’ve ever been involved in,” Stoner added. “You just say the word Lego, and it’s pretty awesome.”

Playing one of numerous Batmans on page, screen and home video involves a certain responsibility to the character, Baker said.

“This may be the first introduction to Batman that somebody ever has,” he said. “And if that’s it, I just want them to go, ‘What’s the original?’ All of these pull from these great storylines. So if I make a kid or an adult pick up a comic book, then I’ve done my job.”

DC Universe SVOD Service Offers Holiday Discount, Will Bow Titles Same Day as Disc

DC Universe animated movies will be available on the DC Universe SVOD service the same day as each title’s 4K and Blu-Ray combo pack release beginning Jan. 29 with Reign of the Supermen, the service announced.

Also, DC Universe (dcuniverse.com), which launched Sept. 15 and showcases DC comic book characters, is offering membership discounts for U.S. subscribers for a limited time. Viewers can get the first three months of membership at $3.99 per month (regularly $7.99 per month) or a full year for $59.99 (regularly $74.99) plus taxes through Dec. 20 at dcuniverse.com/join.

From Dec. 14-24 DC Universe members have a chance to participate in 10 days of gifts directly from favorite characters. Ten winners will have the chance to win one of 10 prizes, to be revealed each day, featuring DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains such as Batman, The Joker, Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman and The Flash.

Other new DC animated movies coming in 2019 include Reign of the Supermen, due Jan. 29, plus Justice League vs The Fatal Five and Batman: Hush.

Also, DC Universe has released the final trailer for the first season finale of original series “Titans,” which will include the face off of Robin vs. Batman. The finale debuts Dec. 21, on which date all episodes from season one will be available to binge.

In the three months since its debut, “Titans” has been viewed by 97% of members, according to the service.

Other series available to binge include “Green Lantern: The Animated Series,” starting Jan. 1, and “Batman (1989),” “Batman Returns,” “Batman Forever” and “Batman & Robin.”

Members have read 2.7 million comics on the service to date, with viewers reading comics that relate directly to the video content they are viewing, according to the service.

“This early glimpse at how our members are engaging with DC Universe points to why fans joining the digital service are not just video viewers; they are reading comics, participating in the community, and winning rewards on a service that allows them to not only stream exciting series and movies but share their fandom in a place that is all their own,” said Sam Ades, SVP and GM, DC Digital Services.

The “DC Daily” show, which has released a new episode every weekday since launch, is among the most-watched programs on a daily basis, according to the service. Guests have included Kevin Smith, Minka Kelly, Brian Michael Bendis, Caity Lotz, Jesse Rath and Paul Dini.

Since going live, the service has run weekly sweepstakes giving away rewards to members, including a tour of DC, a ride in the Batmobile, a trip to the Aquaman movie premiere, tickets to screenings across the country, and hundreds of books, posters, toys and more.

The DC Universe service is available in the United States on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV and the Roku platform, as well as the web and mobile web.