Batman fans have enjoyed a steady string of solid movie and game content the past few years – with an enjoyable back and forth between Christopher Nolan’s grounded Dark Knight trilogy and Rocksteady Studios’ pair of Arkham Asylum-inspired video games. However, for the first time in a while, the Bat-future of both mediums isn’t entirely clear. Nolan claims he’s done making Batman movies – forcing Warner Bros. to either reboot the film franchise (possibly through the upcoming Justice League film) or take the existing storyline in a very different direction. Similarly, Rocksteady Studios chose a controversial ending to their sophomore Batman title, Arkham City - preventing the developers from simply rattling off an Arkham World-like game (at least not before they let the series breathe a bit).
That said, despite all of this uncertainty, Warner Bros. (movie studio and game publisher) is highly motivated to keep Caped Crusader entertainment options coming through the pipeline. As a result, it should come as no surprise that the company recently registered a number of Batman-themed domains that could hint at the next Arkham City title (or, less likely, a new film).
The report comes from Fusible who uncovered the domain name registrations – carried out by MarkMonitor an internet brand protection company that Warner Bros. has used in the past.
The list of 15 recently-registered domain names can be seen below:
- arkhamuniverse.com (Arkham Universe)
- batmanarkahmuniverse.com (Batman Arkham Universe)
- batmanarkhamarises.com (Batman Arkham Arises)
- batmanarkhambegins.com (Batman Arkham Begins)
- batmanarkhamdarkknight.com (Batman Arkham Dark Knight)
- batmanarkhamknight.com (Batman Arkham Knight)
- batmanarkhamlegend.com (Batman Arkham Legend)
- batmanarkhamlegends.com (Batman Arkham Legends)
- batmanarkhamnight.com (Batman Arkham Night)
- batmanarkhamorigins.com (Batman Arkham Origins)
- batmanarkhamstories.com (Batman Arkham Stories)
- darkknightarkham.com (Dark Knight Arkham)
- dcarkhamuniverse.com (DC Arkham Universe)
- dcarkhamverse.com (DC Arkhamverse)
- thearkhamuniverse.com (The Arkham Universe)
While the news initially caused a few movie sites to report the possibility of a film reboot revolving around Arkham Asylum, there’s absolutely no evidence or prior industry reports to suggest that the domain registrations are film-related. It’s understandable that fans would love to see a full-on live-action Batman film set in Arkham Asylum (we’d even settle for the oft-delayed Green Arrow: Escape from Super Max movie) but no reboot script rumors or industry whispers suggest an Arkham-set plotline. We’re not ruling it out entirely but it’s significantly more likely that one of the domains reflects the title of Rocksteady Studios‘ next Batman project.
While details on that game are still scarce, we do know that Arkham Asylum and Arkham City writer Paul Dini will not return to pen the next Arkham - allowing room for a significant change to the formula. The latest rumors suggest the project is a Silver Age “prequel” chronicling Batman’s first encounter with The Joker (around the years 1955 to 1970) - one that also introduces a few Justice League members into the mix (building buzz for the upcoming Warner Bros. team-up movie in 2015 and opening the door for spin-off games). If reports turn out to be true, and the game is actually in development, expect it to release in 2014. The amount of domains centered around the notion of “beginning” certainly could indicate that a prequel is in the works – since Batman Arkham Begins, Batman Arkham Arises, Batman Arkham Origins, and Batman Arkham Legends, would all be suitable titles.
That said, Rocksteady has not confirmed the Silver Age rumor – meaning that they might, instead, deliver a direct follow-up – and there are a few titles in the list that reflect evolution in the established Asylum/City/? progression – specifically Batman Arkham Universe. Similarly, Batman Arkham Stories could expand on the Arkham City feature of playable side-characters with their own character specific arcs (i.e. the Catwoman DLC and Robin in “Harley Quinn’s Revenge”).
Of course, this is all speculation at this point and Warner Bros. could just be securing Batman-themed domains – in the interest of having them available down the line for games (or movies) that aren’t even in development.
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For more on the future of the Batman film series head over to Screen Rant.