HBO Max abandons J. J. Abrams and Matt Reeves’ Batman: Caped Crusader animated series. Another DC Comics-based project axed from seeing the light thanks to David Zaslav’s rebuild strategy for cost-cutting. The fandom’s disappointment at the new leadership’s decisions is at an all-time high, especially after several Cartoon Network titles, Elmo and more were dropped from the streaming service. Though it seems the animated series is still in development and could possibly be revived by another studio.
The Batman: Caped Crusader was announced in May 2021 and was set to follow in the footsteps of the fan-acclaimed “Batman: The Animated Series” from Bruce Timm which aired in 1992. In fact, Timm is attached as an executive producer as well. Sadly, it won’t be streamed on the WBD’s service along with other content like A Looney Tunes movie, Variety reports. Though the future is not so bleak for the Batman series project.
According to THR’s veteran film reporter Borys Kit, the Caped Crusader series is not canceled but has no plans to stream on HBO Max. On the bright side, the show remains “deep in production” and will be sold off to another streaming service. Several critics are already listing Netflix as one of the networks that could be interested in buying the project since their recent auction over Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman property has worked in their favor – with season 1 among the top watched shows.
One of the animators working on the Batman: Caped Crusader series also echoed fans’ desire stating, “Just holding out our thumb and looking to hitch a ride to a new home!”. The cancellation news did not sit well with fans as backlash grows on social media. Many also pointed to WBD’s choice to move forward with The Flash, a highly controversial flick due to Ezra Miller’s antics while several 90s fan-favorite shows were removed. Readers can check out reactions below.
BATMAN: CAPED CRUSADER animated series: The show is not cancelled, per sources, just not going to stream on HBO Max. The show is deep in production, nothing is paused. It will show up somewhere.
— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) August 23, 2022
Things aren't totally bleak yet. As of now, we're still working on our production. Just holding out our thumb and looking to hitch a ride to a new home! https://t.co/IsXfy4ZUoY
— Michael Ruocco (@AGuyWhoDraws) August 23, 2022
Heard Batman: Caped Crusader got cancelled pic.twitter.com/lgrenWd9o1
— DaftPina (@DaftPina) August 23, 2022
Caped Crusader will go somewhere else, which I’m happy about but it’s just the principle of Warner-Discovery having a Matt Reeves/Bruce Timm series that’s a spiritual successor to the greatest Batman of all time and saying “nah, pass” that is mind-boggling.
— Richard Newby (@RICHARDLNEWBY) August 23, 2022
One thing David Zaslav will soon learn. Never outsource anything with Batman in it if you like money. https://t.co/G89LyFjCb1
— Tom Smith (@Tom_Smith717) August 23, 2022
Batman fans when they see David Zaslav: pic.twitter.com/Md0WdfS1Yo
— Trevor Upchurch (@SidewaysMosque) August 23, 2022
The angry mob of 90s kids is really going to storm WBD if they mess with this show. Put it on both streaming and linear! Why would you not want to put a product on the streaming service you own?? This is flabbergasting me and entire entertainment industry!!
— Joe Specific (@Joe_Specific) August 23, 2022
Friendly reminder that BATMAN: CAPED CRUSADER is a spiritual successor to BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, a show widely considered to be not only one of the best animated shows ever, but arguably the best superhero show ever. BTAS creator Bruce Timm even returned for CAPED CRUSADER. pic.twitter.com/jiApJItjB4
— BSL 🔜 #TIFF22 🧩 (@bigscreenleaks) August 23, 2022
David Zaslav after canceling multiple Batman projects at WB / HBOMax pic.twitter.com/UyNRGnP4Tk
— Joe Russo (@joerussotweets) August 23, 2022
Jesus. Batman: Caped Crusader was from Matt Reeves, JJ Abrams, and Bruce Timm and had been promoted for a couple of years now. Just absolutely merciless and absolutely damaging to any trust from creators and fans alike over and over again. https://t.co/BqU4rAiKct
— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) August 22, 2022
David Zaslav three weeks ago: We recognize DC Comics as a powerhouse brand and Batman as a power house franchise
David Zaslav today: You better take that shit somewhere else https://t.co/nBcm2dTsof
— Brian Costello (@BrianRCostello) August 23, 2022
Friggin' BATMAN isn't even safe anymore?
David Zaslav's strategy for running WB seems to be "if we don't actually spend money to make anything, we'll stop losing money, right?" https://t.co/KkRZA6UjFJ
— DLJadow (@DLJGameReviews) August 23, 2022
Looks like animation is one of the lowest priorities for @wbd and David Zaslav, with multiple projects cancelled or being shopped.
Sad that animation continues to be one of the most underappreciated mediums.
Particularly surprised that WBD is shopping the new Batman series.
— Sheraz Farooqi (@SherazFarooqi_) August 23, 2022
Since Reeves was also onboard the animated project, some have begun questioning if the director’s pet projects such as the Colin Farell starring Penguin project could be shelved too. Nothing is certain as the merger of HBO Max and Discovery+ platform takes shape to emerge as one single OTT containing both studios’ catalogs.
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