August has been a rough month for HBO Max subscribers, as the merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery resulted in some major cuts, including cancelling Batgirl when the Leslie Grace movie already in post-production. Now the streamer has hit the brakes on another DC Comics-based project. Batman: Caped Crusader is no longer happening at HBO Max.
Batman: Caped Crusader received a series commitment from HBO Max and Cartoon Network back in May 2021 as an animated show that would reimagine the Batman mythology. Bruce Timm, J.J. Abrams, and Matt Reeves were all on board as executive producers, and Timm’s involvement was a major reason for potential viewers to get excited, as he created Batman: The Animated Series.
Now, TVLine reports that Caped Crusader is no longer being produced for HBO Max, along with five other animated projects that had been in the works: Merry Little Batman, The Day the Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie, Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes Musical, Did I Do That To The Holidays: A Steve Urkel Story (which would have featured Family Matters star Jaleel White voicing his iconic role), and The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie. The projects will reportedly continue production, however, for the possibility of being picked up by outlets other than HBO Max.
The news comes shortly after reports that Young Justice is expected not to be renewed for a fifth season at HBO Max, which cuts another animated property. Fortunately, Harley Quinn doesn’t seem to be going anywhere yet, and the live-action Green Lantern series appears to still be moving forward. Aquaman: King of Atlantis was on the latest list of shows being removed from HBO Max.
DC fans can at least rest comfortably on the Black Canary and Peacemaker fronts, as Warner Bros. confirmed that Black Canary hasn’t been shelved. James Gunn had a reassuring message for the second season of Peacemaker shortly after the shocking news of Batgirl getting the axe. On the whole, however, few projects feel altogether safe on HBO Max, even on the heels of the streamer’s numbers contributing to HBO making history.
So, does all of the HBO Max turmoil mean that Batman: Caped Crusader will never see the light of day? Not necessarily. It’s not clear at this point if there’s a different platform that the production would see as ideal for the animated series, but it has a lot to recommend it. Batman: The Animated Series remains a beloved and critically-acclaimed property, so Bruce Timm’s involvement in Caped Crusader could only work in its favor.
The Dark Knight is of course one of the most recognizable characters in superhero history. The Batman’s performance at the box office is proof that plenty of people are still interested in new takes on Bruce Wayne’s story, and director Matt Reeves is an EP along with Timm. Throw in J.J. Abrams, and there are some big names attached who know how to create hits. If the premise and team behind Caped Crusader were solid enough to earn a straight-to-series order back in 2021, why not a rescue by another platform in 2022?
For now, only time will tell if Batman: Caped Crusader or any of the other five series cut by HBO Max will find a second life elsewhere. There are plenty of TV options on the way in the not-too-distant future, so be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).