In 2008, EA and Pandemic Studios began work on Batman: The Dark Knight, a PS3 and Xbox 360 game based on the Christopher Nolan film of the same name. Like its Rocksteady sequel, it was billed as an open-world Gotham City with drivable vehicles and missions. However, it was canceled in December 2008 after failing to meet its deadline. EA decided not to renew the Batman license, so it defaulted to Warner Bros., a domino effect that would eventually lead to the Arkham series.
However, as Exputer reports, concept artist Goran Bukvic, who worked at Pandemic Studios from July to December 2007, shared some of Batman: The Dark Knight’s artwork on his Art Station page. Here you can see Deadshot, Black Mask and The Electrocutioner perform.
“I landed my first job as a character designer on the AAA video game BATMAN – THE DARK KNIGHT in 2007,” Bukvic posted in the description. “The game was eventually cancelled, but I had to spend a year designing the villains in the game. The idea is that the villains look believable without being too exaggerated, so if you ever see one of them on the street in real life, buy it. This design was made 16 years ago on my level of skill. It’s definitely outdated compared to , but it holds a special place in my heart because it got me started in the industry.”
While the game has never been officially announced, there have been many rumors and reports surrounding its cancellation, further fueled by an interview with Jim Gordon actor Gary Oldman. He told G4 that the Batman: The Dark Knight movie will be released after it’s released on DVD and Blu-ray. An insider from Pandemic Studios later revealed the reason for the game’s cancellation, but EA has yet to comment on it.
Interestingly, the villain depicted in the concept art does not appear in Nolan’s The Dark Knight. In the movie we have Joker, Two-Face and Scarecrow, here we have The Electructioner, Deadshot and Black Mask. It’s unclear how connected the game is to the movie, but it may have worked similarly to the Sam Raimi Spider-Man tie-in extended from wallcrawler’s rogue gallery.
If you haven’t heard of it, Electrocutioner is a character named Lester Buchinsky. They actually followed the hero of the same name, but later became mercenaries and butted heads with Batman. His power set is very similar to Marvel’s Electro, and while he’s a more obscure villain than the others listed here, he’s been featured in games before. He appeared in the 1989 Batman game and even Arkham Origins as one of eight assassins hired to kill the Joker.
Whether or not we’ll see more of this canceled Batman is a mystery, but for now, we’re getting a glimpse at the roster of villains.
Next: How did PlayStation find a reason to have a monopoly?