The new leadership team at Warner Bros. Discovery isn’t exactly endearing itself to DC fans. Weeks after the Batgirl movie was unceremoniously canceled for a tax break, the highly anticipated animated series, Batman: Caped Crusader, has also been dropped by HBO Max. The one bit of good news is that Caped Crusader isn’t canceled, and it is being shopped to other streaming services. But WBD CEO David Zaslav and company are essentially handing a new show with DC’s flagship hero to one of HBO Max’s competitors.
Via Variety, the most disconcerting aspect about this is that Warner Bros. has no bigger superhero brand than Batman himself. Caped Crusader also marks the return of Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Bruce Timm to the character he reinvigorated in the ’90s. Batman and Catwoman comic book scribe Ed Brubaker is on board to write for the series, which is executive produced by Timm, The Batman‘s Matt Reeves, and J.J. Abrams. This show is also reportedly a more mature take on the title hero than previous cartoons. It will almost certainly find a new home soon.
Zaslav and Warner Bros. Discovery appear to have no faith in their animated projects. Several HBO Max original cartoons were recently dropped, even those with unreleased upcoming seasons. In the latest round of cuts, the casualties include 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, and The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie. Much like Caped Crusader, Warner Bros. is allowing these projects to be shopped around. They just won’t have a home on HBO Max itself.
As for Reeves, Deadline reports that he has signed a new overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. Presumably this means The Batman‘s Penguin HBO Max spinoff is safe. But with the current WBD regime, no one can say that with 100% certainty.
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