Many say that television is in a golden age right now, where it is as big a budget as the movie industry and is as well respected. TV shows are a great way to tell a long story that wouldn’t fit into 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. It gives them a chance to expand on stories and characters that they just didn’t have time for in the main movies.
Matt Reeves, director of the batmanhas mentioned in the past that the plan was always to have spin-off TV shows that would expand on the story that begins in the batman. The idea was to explore more of the world without necessarily having Batman at the center of it all. So far, they’ve planned to do a show about the Penguin (with Colin Farrell attached), a series centered around the Gotham Police Department, a show about the infamous Arkham Asylum, and a series about Catwoman, although some of these ideas are just in the stage of development or were put on hold at some point. With so many opportunities to expand the story of the batman in the world of television, it seems almost certain that DC will take advantage of it. But is this the right move?
This trend of franchises tying TV shows to their movie canon has been the subject of heated debate lately. It’s worked out pretty well for Marvel and Star Wars in a sense, because it has allowed them to delve into the stories of characters that would otherwise be left out. And from a business point of view, it obviously makes sense as another form of income. However, these franchises have been criticized for overloading 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 seeing most of the main movies, as well as all of the TV shows that have been released so far. A new audience member couldn’t really get into Doctor strange in the multiverse of madness without having seen before Wanda Vision at least, because of how directly the two stories are related. Equally, Star Wars keep calling your old properties like the clone wars TV show in his new series, which means that to fully understand every reference and character cameo, one must have seen that series as well.
In general, the overall story of a cinematic universe can seem cheap and bloated when it’s been stretched too far. Sometimes less is more, because otherwise fans will quickly become fatigued with the amount of content, no matter the quality. This is the danger that the batman they could find each other if they actually do as many spin-off series as they plan. A spin-off series might be fine, since 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 may lose casual fans in the process. .
part of the beauty of the batman is that it is not connected to the other current DC movie properties and is allowed to exist on its own. This doesn’t mean it can’t have sequels or spin-offs, but with too many spin-offs, it risks becoming its own extended cinematic universe, which only creates the problem it had managed to avoid in the first place. It makes the story and the movie itself that much more special and memorable if not clouded by thousands of other stories that must come together to bridge the canon of film and television.
Having at least two and possibly even three spin-offs in the works at the same time, when the movie is just finding its footing, seems like a gamble, and fans may find they’ve been given too much of a good thing. With so many other versions of the character, the last thing DC should want to do is tire out Batman fans, especially after the excitement over Matt Reeves’ new take on the Dark Knight.
the batman seems to be taking lessons from Star Wars and Marvel on the benefits of making TV shows based on movie franchises. However, they should also take note of the pitfalls those studies have faced and take a more careful approach to their own content. It would be a real shame to feel burned out the batman content so soon, and if all of these shows come to fruition, there’s a very good chance they could overshadow the film’s success and critical reception, especially if they don’t live up to it. 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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