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How Fox's "Gotham" Might Destroy Batman

Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) might have made a Marvel-sized mistake in licensing the rights to the Batman mythos for 21st Century Fox's (NASDAQ: FOXA  ) forthcoming TV adaptation, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Gotham, which is in development now, tells the story of a young Bruce Wayne in the years leading to his transformation into Batman. Ben Affleck's Dark Knight for Batman vs. Superman is purported be older, a grizzled veteran of the war against street-level crime in the DC movie universe.

So why worry? During the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly said the studio purchased "all the underlying Batman rights for the entire franchise" for a "very healthy license fee." Thus, it seems Warner will get no say over what Fox airs, even if the storyline contradicts what Warner reveals when Batman vs. Superman screens in May 2016.

For his part, Reilly told reporters that the studios will "coordinate in the marketplace" -- whatever that means -- as Gotham remains a distinct property contributing to the cinematic version of the Batman mythos. Contrast that with Marvel's approach, which has been to license entire portions of its universe. Fox and Sony control the onscreen destinies of the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man.

Neither approach is ideal, Tim says, but it's also hard to see how Warner keeps a tight rein on one of its most important brands while licensing every element of the character's mythos to a competitor.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you believe Warner is making a mistake licensing the Batman franchise to Fox? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

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Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 01, 2014, at 3:23 PM, 4mws wrote:

    Let's hope this cooperation between Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox will eventually lead to enough cooperation between the two to allow for the release of the Classic Batman series on DVD.

  • Report this Comment On February 01, 2014, at 8:26 PM, dekabreak wrote:

    it is coming to dvd later this year adam west burt ward cant wait

  • Report this Comment On February 01, 2014, at 10:05 PM, runner110 wrote:

    Once again a great franchise will be ruined because of greed.

  • Report this Comment On February 01, 2014, at 10:27 PM, lhickschem wrote:

    "Gotham" won't destroy Batman any more than "Smallville" destroyed Superman. The audience will know that it's a different vision of the character, just as they'll know that "Batman vs Superman" isn't a follow on to the Dark Knight Trilogy.

  • Report this Comment On February 01, 2014, at 10:49 PM, KingLinus3000 wrote:

    It sound like Fox only have rights to live action TV and not film, otherwise MoS 2 or Justice League couldn't have Batman appear in them without a clause of some sort.

    And I'm more worried about MoS 2 destroying Batman more then Gotham.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 2:42 AM, MithrandirOlorin wrote:

    I'm not worried about Continuity, if fans can't handle that this TV show is separate from the movies then their the problem.

    But Gotham was supposed to be focused on Gordon, now their saying it's Young Bruce? NO NO NO, I don't want another overdrawn Prequel like Smallville, that works for Clark it doesn't for Bruce.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 8:51 AM, snowcrave wrote:

    batman already killed itself when they cast bad affect in the title role

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2014, at 6:22 PM, Arkhamknight20 wrote:

    Fox is going to fuking kill this movie. Fucng leave it the uck alone the story is already built why in the uck are you trying to mess with it?!? Get a good cast god dammit bringing the ucking rock as green lantern?! Ucking seriously. ucking bull hit the world is not ready for a batman vs superman movie apparently since this hit head Zach Snyder wants to completely UCK this movie backwards. God amn bull hit and uck you fox and especially their stupid as uck actor / role decisions they need to eat a ucking ick.

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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