Many say that television is in a golden age right now, where it’s as big-budget as the film industry and is equally respected. TV shows are a great way to tell an extended story that wouldn’t fit within the time constraints of a movie, which is why many franchises – like Marvel, Star Wars, and DC – are also branching out into the world of television. This gives them a chance to expand on stories and characters that they just didn’t have time for in the main films.
Matt Reeves, director of the Batmanhas mentioned in the past that the plan has always been to have spin-off TV shows that expand on the story that starts in the Batman. The idea was to explore more of the world without necessarily having Batman at the center of everything. So far, they’ve planned to do a show about the Penguin (with Colin Farrell attached), a series centered on the Gotham Police Department, a show about the infamous Arkham Asylum, and a series about Catwoman – though some of those ideas are just at the stage of development. development or were put on hold at some point. With so many opportunities to expand the story of the Batman in the TV world, it seems almost certain that DC will take advantage of this. But is this the right move?
This trend of franchises tying TV shows into their movie canon has been hotly debated lately. It’s worked really well for Marvel and Star Wars in a sense, because it allowed them to flesh out the stories of characters who were otherwise left out. And from a business perspective, it obviously makes sense as another form of income. However, these franchises have been criticized for overwhelming their narratives with all these TV shows, which can make the franchises very difficult to follow.
At this point, it would be nearly impossible to get into the MCU without watching most of the major movies, as well as every TV show that has been released so far. A new audience member couldn’t really get into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness without having seen before WandaVision at the very least, because of how directly the two stories tie together. Likewise, Star Wars keeps calling back to its previous properties, like the Clone Wars TV show in its new series, which means that to fully understand all the character references and cameos, one must have seen that series as well.
In general, the overall story of a cinematic universe can feel cheap and bloated when expanded too much. Sometimes less is more because otherwise fans will quickly tire of the amount of content, no matter the quality. This is the danger that the Batman may come across if they actually do as many spin-offs as they plan to. A spin-off series might be fine as the movie was so successful and fans are obviously clamoring for more, but doing too many will only make the story incredibly difficult to follow, and they might lose casual fans in the process. .
part of the beauty of the Batman is that it is disconnected from the other current DC movie properties and can exist on its own. That doesn’t mean it can’t have sequels or spin-offs, but with too many spin-offs, it runs the risk of becoming its own extended cinematic universe, which just creates the problem it managed to avoid in the first place. This makes the story and the movie itself that much more special and memorable if not overshadowed by the thousands of other stories that have to come together to tie the movie canon to that of TV.
Having at least two and possibly even three spin-offs in the works at the same time, when the movie has only recently found its footing, seems a bit risky, and fans might feel they’ve received too much of a good thing. With so many other versions of the character out there, the last thing DC should want to do is make Batman fans tired of Batman, especially after the excitement over Matt Reeves’ new take on the Dark Knight.
the Batman seems to be learning from Star Wars and Marvel on the benefits of making TV shows based on movie franchises. However, they should also take notes on the downsides these studios have faced and take a more careful approach to their own content. It would be a shame to feel drained the Batman content anytime soon, and if all these shows come to fruition, it’s a high possibility they could overshadow the film’s success and critical reception, especially if they don’t measure up. It might be a better idea for them to take the “less is more” approach and try to prioritize storytelling in the cinematic part of the franchise before anything else.
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