The latest in a long line of HBO Max cancellations is Batman: Caped Crusader, but it may not be dead yet.
Matt Reeves, J.J. Abrams, and Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Bruce Timm created the animated series.
It’s a day that ends in a Y, which means Warner Bros. Discover has decided to kill off some more projects that were already in the works for HBO Max, and—wow, would you believe this?—they’re all animated. Is David Zaslav the real-life Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Because this guy has a personal vendetta against cartoons.
Merry Little Batman, The Day The Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie, Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes Musical, Did Do Do That To The Holidays: A Steve Urkel Story, The Amazing World Of Gumball: The Movie, and Batman: The Caped Crusader are the latest HBO Max originals to be unjustly killed off before their time, according to Variety. Some of them haven’t gotten much attention until now, but Caped Crusader was as high-profile as animated projects get.
The series, which was produced by J.J. Abrams, The Batman director Matt Reeves, and Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Bruce Timm, was positioned as a spiritual successor to Batman: TAS that would’ve been a darker, more mature, noir-inspired Batman show—basically the exact thing that ’90s kids have been dying for since Batman: TAS went off the air. However, there is some hope: According to Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter, the project is “not cancelled,” but it will “not stream on HBO Max.” Kit says it’s “deep in production” and “will appear somewhere.”
Assuming that’s correct, it’s insane that a show about Batman starring big-name actors wouldn’t be available on the service owned by the company that owns Batman. Whatever you think of Disney consuming all of American pop culture, it would never pass up an opportunity like this. Call it Nighthawk: Caped Crusader and sell it to Disney so Kevin Feige can work it into the MCU. They’ve got to do the Squadron Supreme eventually, right?
As entertaining as that would be, the most likely home for Caped Crusader would be Cartoon Network, which was also involved in the show’s development alongside HBO Max when it was first announced. Still, if something is going to air on regular TV, wouldn’t it be just as simple to put it on the same people’s streaming service? What do we know, really? We’re not the clearly competent individuals making decisions to throw art in the trash at Warner Bros. Discovery. (By “art,” we mean Steve Urkel’s Did I Do That To The Holidays.)