Monolith’s cancelled Batman game leaks online

Monolith’s cancelled Batman game leaks online
Image via Warner Bros. | Monolith Productions

Written by 

Tom Chapman


4th Apr 2024 10:55

There are some amazing what-ifs in the world of gaming. What if Rockstar Games had released its James Bond-inspired Agent, what if we'd got another The Simpsons: Hit & Run, and what if we'd got a proper Arkham Knight sequel? Of course, that isn't the only what-if from the world of the Dark Knight.

With the Caped Crusader being one of the most popular characters in comic books, his video game IP is just as lucrative. These days, Batman is known for Rocksteady's acclaimed Arkham games (less so Kill the Justice League), but in some Elseworlds reality, he could've had a very different return to form.

A long night for the Dark Knight

Way back when, Monolith Productions was reportedly working on a Batman game, going under the working title of Project Apollo. Aside from the abysmal Batman Begins video game of 2005 and a bizarre The Dark Knight Rises mobile game, games based on Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy failed to materialise.

After being acquired by Warner Bros. in 2004 and hot off the successes of 2009's F.E.A.R 2, Monolith turned its attention to Batman and The Lord of the Rings (more on that later). Project Apollo was going to be set in the Nolanverse and tie into The Dark Knight Rises for its 2012 release. 

Apollo was set to adopt an open-world approach and randomise enemies, which Monolith die-hards will know evolved into the Nemesis system that made 2014's Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor the genre-defining game it was. Interestingly, the game wanted to add the Batmobile long before 2015's Arkham Knight. 

DidYouKnowGaming has a deep dive into the game, including theories on why Project Apollo fell apart because it didn't have Christopher Nolan's blessing, artwork, and the story of an early Shadow of Mordor build featuring a character model of Batman swinging a sword. 

Project Apollo unfurls its wings

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Both Reddit and Twitter have exploded with leaks for Project Apollo, showing off gameplay and a Nolan-inspired Batsuit that looks fit for Christian Bale himself. What stands out most is that this feels like an Arkham game in the style of Nolan. 

There are an array of gadgets to customise, Monolith's own take on Rocksteady's Detective Mode, and stealth segments. It's quite something to traverse Gotham City via grappling hook, gliding, or the Batmobile in 2010. It's also interesting that this footage was seemingly uploaded in 2022, and no one noticed. 

Apparently, Warner Bros. didn't want two competing Batman franchises, and after Rocksteady got there first with Arkham Asylum in 2009, Project Apollo was nixed. Still, things are coming back around, and with Monolith currently working on its Wonder Woman game, elements of Project Apollo can find a new home in a different corner of the DC Universe. 

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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