Ranking The Arkham Asylums in Live Action Film & Television
Updated: Oct 27, 2021
We dive into every LIVE ACTION version of Arkham Asylum and rank them in reverse chronological order. Learn which non-Batman DC supervillain cameoed in Joker 2019, what happened in the deleted Arkham scenes of the Schumacher cut of Batman Forever (including a rare deleted shot only in a U2 music video), what role Arkham played in the never produced Batman 5, and what sources implied that the Jack Nicholson Joker spent time in Arkham!
While Zachary Brown did the thumbnail graphic, the art itself is from the concept art for Batman Forever, as shared by @CutSchumacher on Twitter.
5:00 Joker 2019
Arkham State Hospital
Production Designer - Mark Friedberg
Real building - Brooklyn Army Terminal, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York City
Our research assistant, Dan Yamat, also helped provide us with the information on the individual production designers and the real life locations (if applicable)
14:13 Arrowverse-Elseworlds Crossover & Batwoman
Arkham Asylum For The Criminally Insane
Arrow (Season 7 episode name: Elseworlds, Part 2)
Production Designer - Richard Hudolin
Batwoman (Season 1 episode name: Through the Looking Glass)
Production Designer - Ian Thomas
Real Building - Crease Clinic in Riverview Hospital, Coquitlam, British Columbia
The Arrow Fandom Wikis were helpful in gathering the information on both the Earth 1 Arkham (from the Elseworlds crossover and the first few episodes of Batwoman pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths): https://arrow.fandom.com/wiki/Arkham_Asylum_(Earth-1)
And the Earth Prime Arkham in Batwoman, post-Crisis on Infinite Earths: https://arrow.fandom.com/wiki/Arkham_Asylum_(Earth-Prime)
First appeared in Season 1 in the episode "Dick Grayson"
Production Designer - John Dondertman
The revised Arkham Asylum was shown in Season 3 in the episode "Red Hood"
Production Designer - Ian Brock
Real Building - Guelph Correctional Centre in Guelph, Ontario
Since Titans was revealed to be Earth 9 in the CW-verse/Arrowverse, one could presume that the change in Arkham Asylums were also due to Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The week of this recording, Titans aired their Season 3 finale "Purple Rain" which showed more of the interior of Arkham Asylum, with a new cell for Jonathan Crane.
It also showed the full "ARKHAM ASYLUM" letters on the gate:
29:12 Zack Snyder's Justice League
Arkham Home For the Emotionally Troubled
Production Designer - Patrick Tatopoulos
Although this is meant to be the same DCEU continuity as Suicide Squad, we ranked it differently due to there being different directors and production designers.
34:19 Suicide Squad
Production Designer - Oliver Scholl
The brighter pic of Arkham's gates comes from the DCEU wiki:
38:43 Break- Chat of the Wild promo & Barkbox Promo
This is a promo for another podcast in the Greenlit Podcast Network, Chat of the Wild, which you can find here.
Check out our link for Barkbox here.
39:56 Return from Break: Gotham
First Appearance: Season 1 "Arkham"
Production Designer - Doug Kraner
Real Building - Bayley Seton Hospital Stapleton, Staten Island, New York City
The Gotham fan wiki helped with the breakdown of the Arkham inmates.
48:53 Batman Begins
Production Designer - Nathan Crowley
Real Building - National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK
56:43 Birds of Prey
(Not the Birds of Prey film with Margot Robbie, but the 2002-2003 short-lived TV series on The WB).
Production Designer - Jaymes Hinkle & Michael Helmy
While the exterior of Arkham appears to be reused footage from Batman Forever, Hinkle and Helmy designed the cells from the interior:
This Arkham is designated from Earth 203 and the Arrow wiki helped us with the breakdown on the inmates: https://arrow.fandom.com/wiki/Arkham_Asylum_(Earth-203)
1:01:40 The Schumacher Arkham: Batman Forever & Batman & Robin
Production Design: Barbara Ling
The deleted shot of the Arkham building from Batman Forever (below) comes from the music video of "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" by U2, which you can view here: https://www.u2.com/media/player/63/68
This was a miniature, as seen in these rare behind the scenes photos courtesy of @Mindd Kidzag :
Joel Schumacher's full quote on wanting to do an Arkham Asylum movie:
"I always wanted to do a whole Arkham movie, and did a scene at the end of Batman Forever when Jim [Carrey] is in a straitjacket and Nicole [Kidman] comes to see him. And it was just a nod to back to Arkham asylum which I love, and I thought it would be fun to put the other villains up there."
The deleted opening scene of Batman Forever featured the images of Dr. Burton that we discussed:
We discussed the deleted scenes of the film in our Batman Forever Script Deep Dive episode and talked about the novelization of Batman Forever in this episode.
Corrections Department: Ben mentions that the Arkham guard who helps Two-Face escape from Arkham in the novelization is named Tully.
In reality, Tully was actually the name of the bank guard who was held hostage in the opening. The guard who helps Two-Face escape was actually named Richter.
We also discussed the potential Batman 5 in this episode.
The mention of the Joker in Arkham comes from the script for Batman & Robin:
INT. ARKHAM LOCK-UP - NIGHT A tiny basement room with a single barred window where prisoner's effects are kept. Mannequins display familiar costumes, Joker's, Riddler's, Freeze's.
1:14:39 Closing: Fan Comments & Social Media Promotion
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