THE BATMAN Sequels and Spinoffs: What’s Next for These Characters?

*Pulls up a chair, spins it backwards, and sits on it like a cool teacher* So you’ve seen The Batman. Now that you’ve watched Matt Reeves’ dynamic and original take on the Caped Crusader you might have some questions. So we—like the Bat answering a riddle—are here to do just that. We’re going to break down where we left each character and where you can expect to see them next. Like the most fun of pieces, this’ll be a mix of confirmed continuity and a little bit of theorizing. When will we see The Batman sequels and spinoffs? Strap in to your Batmobile of choice and let’s dig into what we know and what we’d like to see in the future of Matt Reeves’ The Batman universe.

The Batsuit worn by Robert Pattinson in Matt Reeves movie
Warner Bros.

Matt Reeves said from the outset that his Batman story wasn’t an origin. And although the film doesn’t deal with the overdone death of his parents, it does give us an origin for a new version of Batman. Bruce begins here as a dangerous recluse. His coping mechanism is beating the living hell out of people in his city. When we meet him he’s been active for two years and knows that he’s only making things worse. By the end of the film he’s had a realization: to help Gotham he actually has to… help. It’s a moving moment and the first time we’ve seen an onscreen Batman really reckon with how he can make things better in his city. So we leave Batman in a broken world where he wants to do better and be a part of his community in a way he never has been.

The Batman ends on a surprisingly hopeful note. But nothing is that simple in Gotham. With the arrival of the Joker in Arkham and the destruction of Gotham, it’s not going to be an easy road. Bruce’s journey forward will likely be based on battling with his darkest instincts as he tries to do better while facing down against a number of violent and cruel villains. He’s facing a Gotham with no leadership and plenty of people who will want to grab it. Can Bruce stay true to himself and his new approach to crime fighting? The other biggest question is when will he see Selina again? We’re expecting her to return to his world sooner rather than later, perhaps in a sequel to The Batman. Though whether she’ll return to Gotham to save him or he’ll head to Bludhaven to visit her is yet to be seen… whatever happens, the Bat and Cat will reunite!!

Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman Selina Kyle in The Batman.
Warner Bros.

After connecting with Bruce, finding justice for Anya, and escaping the clutches of her mob boss father, Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle is understandably ready to leave Gotham. Of course, she wants Bruce to go with her. Sadly, he’s already spoken for as Gotham’s protector, so Selina heads off on her own. According to the femme fatale, she may visit Bludhaven, a famed DC Comics location where she may come across a certain Dick Grayson…

While she doesn’t currently have a spinoff confirmed, Matt Reeves is open to the notion. “We have a lot of ideas for things we want to do and for sure, we want Selina to continue,” Reeves shared. “To me, their relationship and what they are to each other, that’s the heart of [this] movie.” That fact is also why if we get a follow-up/sequel to The Batman you can expect Selina to return. Though we’d also love to see her in a movie or The Batman spinoff series of her own, she deserves it! And she hasn’t yet taken on the Catwoman mantle…

Jim Gordon
A still from the Batman shows Geoffery wright as Jim Gordon and Batman looking at a morgue
Jonathan Olley, Warner Bros.

One of Batman’s only true allies in Gotham, Jim Gordon will be a vital part of the franchise going forward. Not only did Jeffrey Wright deliver the best on-screen Gordon we’ve ever seen, but he will likely be a part of the previously announced spinoff show. Previously, this show was about the GCPD. In 2020 I wrote about how the show should only exist if it’s about the dismantling of Gotham PD. At the time it felt both logical, right, and a complete and utter long shot. However, now this show has evolved into something else. Which makes sense,  because Matt Reeves essentially already disbanded the police as it existed by the end of The Batman.

Bella Reál
Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne and Jayme Lawson as Bella Real inside a church
Warner Bros.

Although her screen time was fleeting, Jayme Lawson’s Bella Reál is a key player in The Batman. She’s the only one who says what we were all thinking: “Bruce you’re rich, why aren’t you doing anything for the city?” She’s also one of the few people in Gotham with any integrity. As the movie comes to a close, we leave her as the newly crowned mayor. In an impassioned speech she speaks about rebuilding trust in Gotham, in each other, and in its institutions. Interestingly, she leaves out mention of the GCPD, who we know were the core of the corruption in the city. We’ll likely see Bella deal with that in the aforementioned The Batman spinoff with Jim Gordon. And if we do return to Gotham in any future The Batman sequels then you can expect Bella to be there.

The Penguin
Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin, in The Batman.
Warner Bros.

In a Q&A we attended, Matt Reeves said that The Batman wasn’t an origin story for Bruce, but it was an origin story for the Batman rogues that we meet. Colin Farrell’s Penguin is by no means the criminal mastermind that comic fans are used to. But as the movie ends we leave him in position to take over from his one-time boss Carmine Falcone. With Boss Maroni out of the picture and Carmine killed by the Riddler, there’s a power vacuum in Gotham. It would be the perfect time for Oz to begin his climb up the slippery ladder of corruption. This could be something that we see in the already announced HBO Max spinoff series following The Batman‘s Penguin. Starring Farrell, that show was confirmed before The Batman hit screens, but it makes a lot of sense after seeing the actor’s powerhouse turn as the greedy wannabe mob boss. We can’t wait to hear more about this The Batman spinoff.

The Riddler
Paul Dano as the Riddler in The Batman.
Warner Bros.

Currently trapped in Arkham, the Riddler’s future might seem unclear. But the fact that in classic Arkham Asylum fashion they apparently put him right next to the Joker, but that will likely change. The pair’s conversation implies that the Joker wants to team up with the Riddler and help him forge the kind of comeback that Gotham loves. Villains combining forces is par for the course for Batman in the comics and movies, so this would make a lot of sense. Also, as we leave Gotham in a state of flooded disrepair, there’s a massive power vacuum that could come into play. There’s even precedent for different villains to take over different segments of Gotham after a terrible disaster. We could see some kind of Riddler-land if he manages to escape. Now that we know more about a possible The Batman spinoff that’s focused on Arkham, we might speculate he could appear there.

The Joker, a.k.a. “Unseen Arkham Prisoner”
A cover for a Batman comic by Frank Quitely shows a horribly disfigured Joker smiling at the reader
DC Comics

Sure, Barry Keoghan wasn’t credited as the Joker, but we can see in the small glimpse we get of him that’s exactly who he is. And Matt Reeves confirmed it. So now we know that one of the scariest actors on Earth is playing Batman’s most formidable foe. What does that mean for Gotham? It’s a calculatingly heartbreaking choice from Reeves. We leave Bruce in a place where he’s trying to do better. He wants to change and become the hero and helper that his city needs. So to then pit him against the most chaotic and criminal of his villains just seems cruel. But it’ll make one hell of a show. The future of this character all depends on whether we get another Reeves’ Batman movie. If we do get a sequel to The Batman, expect the Joker to be the big bad and to try and break Bruce and his quest for redemption.

Gotham City
Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne from Batman 2022. Batman's emo bangs are on full display. For the Batman Playlist article.
Jonathan Olley, Warner Bros.

In every good Batman story, Gotham City is a character unto itself. Reeves’ Batman is no exception. Though for much of the movie the city is the living breathing backdrop to Bruce’s exploration of corruption, as the film comes to a close we leave it in ruins. Not only has the corruption that fueled and supported it been uncovered, but the Riddler’s plan has left it flooded and destroyed. This is a really interesting place to leave Gotham as it leans heavily into multiple comic book arcs. During Batman: Zero Year, the Riddler floods the city. That was a clear influence here, but what comes after could shape the future of The Batman be it in spinoffs or sequels. In that story, Riddler takes control of the city and Batman has to battle to stop him. That seems like it could definitely happen in a potential Batman sequel.

Other comics that this feels like it could be echoing include Cataclysm and No Man’s Land. Those arcs saw Gotham destroyed by an Earthquake and quickly become a literal No Man’s Land. Only Jim Gordon and the heroes stay around to save the citizens of Gotham. This beloved arc seems like a pretty safe bet for inspiration for what comes next for the city. It could be especially interesting to see Reeves’ take on some of the most famous moments like Gotham being ejected from the USA, and the political and societal fall out of that choice.

Whatever happens next in terms of sequels and spinoffs, as huge fans of The Batman we can’t wait. And, of course, we have everything crossed for a sequel starring Pattinson and Kravitz.

Featured Image: Warner Bros.

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