Matt Reeves’ ARKHAM ASYLUM Series Will be Set in James Gunn’s DCU

James Gunn has said the new DCU will make room for “Elseworlds” style stories. In other words, it will allow for DC Comics-based stories not tied to any overall continuity. Matt Reeves’ The Batman and the upcoming Penguin series as well as The Batman – Part II are part of this standalone approach. But the Max Arkham Asylum series, announced in 2022, and also produced by Reeves, won’t take place in that version of Gotham City. Instead, it will take place in the Gotham that exists in the new DCU. Via IGN, we learned Gunn was asked by Threads user if Reeves was “producing another Batverse project, other than The Batman 2, Penguin and Arkham?” This is how Gunn replied:

“Right now Matt is producing Arkham as a DCU series, so there’s just the two for now. We love Matt as a director and producer so he’ll be producing stories both within his The Batman universe and within the DCU.”

This is a pretty big change. Until now we only believed Matt Reeves’ involvement extended to one iteration of Gotham City and the Batman world. And we’re not sure this was always the case. Comments from Reeves previously about the Arkham series made it seem as if he tied it to The Batman world. So why the change? We can only guess as to why this is part of the DCU and not a totally separate thing. But we have a theory.

The entrance of Arkham Asylum from Batman: The Animated Series.
Warner Bros. Animation

Given how realistic and grounded the Gotham City of The Batman is, maybe Reeves wanted something a little more sci-fi? Or maybe something leaning into the supernatural? Something that did not fit in with the world established in The Batman. This means we might see more bizarre villains from Batman’s rogues’ gallery, like Mr. Freeze, Clayface, Poison Ivy. Heck, why not Man-Bat? These villains will eventually battle whoever the eventual DCU Dark Knight may be. We think it’s long overdue that we see some of these iconic characters on the big screen.

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