THE BATMAN: Original HBO Max Spinoff Writer Joe Barton Recalls Being Fired By Warner Bros.

Joe Barton was tasked with taking charge of that HBO Max series focusing on a corrupt cop in Gotham City, but with it scrapped since The Batman's release, he's now reflecting on being fired by Warner Bros.

Original plans for The Batman's first HBO Max spinoff called for the show to focus on a corrupt cop in the Gotham City Police Department. Set during "Year One" of the Dark Knight's vigilante career, Jim Gordon was expected to appear, though many fans questioned why Warner Bros. was developing a project that sounded so similar to FOX's Gotham.

Since the DC Comics movie arrived in theaters, the streaming service has decided to prioritise a show focusing on Colin Farrell's Penguin, while that GCPD project has now shifted focus to Arkham State Hospital (with the expectation being that The Joker and The Riddler will take centre stage).

Terence Winter was first tasked with developing the corrupt cop idea, though Joe Barton was later chosen as his replacement. With the show now scrapped, Barton opened up on his unceremonious firing during a recent interview with The Telegraph.

"The Wire set in Gotham City, is the lazy pitch," he said of the show's premise, adding: "I gave the script over in November and HBO called to say they loved it and they were really excited. And then in January my agent called to say I’d been fired."

"If you’re going to get fired from a massive franchise, don’t do it two months before the film comes out. I saw Batman everywhere," he continued, recalling having to take notes on a script over the phone in the rain, with only one place to take shelter. "Underneath a f***ing Batman poster. It was like being haunted by Fathers 4 Justice."

It's a shame for Barton that his vision for Gotham City will go unseen, but between those similarities to Gotham and his comparisons to The Wire, we can't help but think the story would have been an overly familiar one. Either way, with that Penguin show now a priority, we simply don't know when that new take set in Arkham will find its way onto HBO Max. 

The Batman 2 has been officially announced, but there's no word on a release date yet.

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