THE PENGUIN: James Gunn Debunks Reports Batman Can't Appear In TV Series Due To Rights Issues

THE PENGUIN: James Gunn Debunks Reports Batman Can't Appear In TV Series Due To Rights Issues THE PENGUIN: James Gunn Debunks Reports Batman Can't Appear In TV Series Due To Rights Issues

Following reports that Robert Pattinson's Caped Crusader will appear in The Penguin, DC Studios boss James Gunn has debunked rumours about that not being possible...confirming we are going to see Batman?!

By JoshWilding - Mar 16, 2023 08:03 AM EST
Filed Under: The Batman

Despite the massive changes that have been made to the DCU by Warner Bros. Discovery and DC Studios, Matt Reeves' The Batman franchise is set to continue. We don't know whether the filmmaker's ambitious plan for several villain-led HBO Max TV shows will come to fruition, but The Batman II has been confirmed, as has The Penguin.

The latter is even in the midst of shooting in New York, and it's been mentioned on several occasions now that the plan is for it to bridge the gap between The Batman and its sequel. 

It was recently reported that Robert Pattinson will return as Bruce Wayne in The Penguin, likely for another confrontation between his Dark Knight and Colin Farrell's Oz. After all, the villain is looking to take Gotham City's underworld and make it his own, bringing the character more in line with his comic book counterpart. 

Recently, rumours have been swirling online that complicated rights issues prohibit Batman from appearing on television, hence why we haven't seen him in the likes of Titans and Gotham Knights

DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn, however, was quick to debunk those claims. Clearly, Batman can appear on TV...Warner Bros. probably just didn't want to lessen the hero's appeal by having him take centre stage in less-than-stellar small screen projects.

While Gunn hasn't necessarily confirmed that Pattinson's Batman will be part of The Penguin, we remain convinced that the Caped Crusader will show up at some point!

Farrell will be joined in the series by Cristin Milioti as Sofia Falcone, Clancy Brown as Salvatore Maroni, Rhenzy Feliz, Michael Kelly, Shohreh Aghdashloo, and Deirdre O’Connell.

The Batman II is set to be released in theaters on October 3, 2025. The Penguin, meanwhile, will likely premiere on HBO Max sometime in 2024.

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bobevanz
bobevanz - 3/16/2023, 8:56 AM
He'll show up for one episode, I guarantee it
MotherGooseUPus
MotherGooseUPus - 3/16/2023, 9:27 AM
@bobevanz - and that's how they will get the casual viewer to watch the show... regardless if it is really good (which i think it will be)
Repian
Repian - 3/16/2023, 9:18 AM
The backdrop is a situation similar to No Man's Land, so it's possible to see Batman and the GCPD fighting against the revolutionaries and anarchists.
Repian
Repian - 3/16/2023, 9:22 AM
@Repian - We may see Riddler's followers and they make war on their own.
ObserverIO
ObserverIO - 3/16/2023, 2:05 PM
@Repian - So it's Gotham Season 5.
Matchesz
Matchesz - 3/16/2023, 9:42 AM
Of course, yet batman is in about 20 different CW shows
bkmeijer1
bkmeijer1 - 3/16/2023, 9:43 AM
Why would Disney and Fox be involved in Batman tv rights anyway?

Would be cool to see The Drifter again or maybe even Matches Malone.
EarlChai
EarlChai - 3/16/2023, 9:52 AM
@bkmeijer1 - Because 20th Century Fox was the production company for the Adam West Batman show, and now Disney owns Fox. The complicated rights were the reason the ‘66 series couldn’t be released on DVD for so long. It was suspected that Fox *still* owned the rights to Batman himself on TV, but they couldn’t use the character without WB’s permission. Hence all the “Gotham without Batman” shows WB’s made, and their reluctance to allow Fox’s Gotham show to include Batman in costume until literally the final shot of the series.
bkmeijer1
bkmeijer1 - 3/16/2023, 10:33 AM
@EarlChai - guess that makes sense. Still, stuff like Titans had Bruce Wayne and Batman too. So it's not a hard restriction if true
EarlChai
EarlChai - 3/16/2023, 1:02 PM
@bkmeijer1 - Bruce Wayne, yes. The batsuit, yes. References to Batman, yes. A dark silhouette cameo, yes. But not Batman himself. Ditto with Batwoman, Gotham, Gotham Knights, etc. Those kinds of details are important to these complex rights issues, like how FoX-Men had mutant Peter Maximoff with an unnamed sister, while the MCU had “enhanced” Pietro Maximoff but had to kill him in order to keep Wanda—the twins’ rights were split between the studios.

I’m honestly reluctant to believe Gunn’s tweet is the debunking the article wants it to be. Even if it’s not an outright lie (“Cumberbatch isn’t playing Khan, he’s John Harrison!”), there’s plenty of ways it could be a legalese half-truth.
bkmeijer1
bkmeijer1 - 3/16/2023, 3:35 PM
@EarlChai - yeah, bet there is a lot of gray area.

And I believe Gunn, as the real situation is probably not exactly as described in the article. Guess it could be a John Harrison situation.
Th3Batman
Th3Batman - 3/16/2023, 10:09 AM
This series will lead into the 2nd movie, so at the very least he'll show up in the final episode, be it as Bruce or Batman.
RandmHero
RandmHero - 3/16/2023, 10:32 AM
Good to hear the only reason we haven't gotten an actual Batman in projects that sorely needed him for it to make any kind of sense at all is because WB didn't want to cheapen(?!) the character. But hey, we now have several strange alternate versions of Bruce Wayne who could've basically never have worn a cowl at all.
sully
sully - 3/18/2023, 1:18 AM
This applies to anything outside of HBO Max. HBO Max is owned by Warner Media There is zero issue with rights.
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