Why The CW Cancelled Batman's Spin-off Show, Revealed by Producer

By Richard Nebens Posted:
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The CW's Batman spin-off series, Gotham Knights, was just officially canceled, and its producer shared details regarding that decision.

Diverting away from the long-running Arrowverse on The CW, Gotham Knights took a new route with the Caped Crusader as a group of younger heroes dealt with the aftermath of Bruce Wayne's murder in Gotham.

But after the Batman spin-off's first trailer left fans almost unanimously underwhelmed, The CW fought an upward battle in terms of reviews and reception the entire day through the season.

Gotham Knights Producer Explains Cancellation

Gotham Knights, CW Poster

Gotham Knights executive producer and showrunner James Stoteraux shared a statement regarding the series' cancellation on his Twitter account, explaining the reasoning behind the decision.

Thanking the show's fans for "the kind words and heartfelt support," Stoteraux noted that he and the teams at Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Discovery were working to find a new home for the show or to get it picked up for more seasons:

"Hey Bat Brats. Thank you all for the kind words and heartfelt support. Since many of you have been asking about the possibility of 'GOTHAM KNIGHTS' finding a new home, we wanted to let you know that, over the last few months, our producing partners at Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Discovery had been working extremely hard to get the show picked up or possibly even moved to a new network."

Even with the budget-crunching and changes taking place behind the scenes at The CW and other DC-related entities, the producer praised everybody involved for their efforts in trying to keep the Batman spin-off going:

"There is a great deal of love and support for 'GK' ('Gotham Knights') at the studio, and at The CW as well. Unfortunately, despite all their efforts, The CW wasn’t able to renew the show, and the studio wasn’t able to find a new home for it. We can assure you all that it wasn’t for a lack of trying or a lack of enthusiasm. Even in a time of severe belt-tightening, the studio spent money and resources in the hope of continuing the show. And though they ultimately weren’t successful, their efforts deserve our gratitude."

While Stoteraux couldn't offer enough thanks and praise for the "hundreds of people displaying relentless passion" every day on Gotham Knights, he felt the need to be realistic about the series' chances of survival:

"We’ve seen your tweets and we appreciate your resolve and commitment to getting the show a new home. It means so much. This show was the work of hundreds of people displaying relentless passion day in and day out. We would all love nothing more than to keep telling this story. After all, this is a show based on looking for hope when hope seems lost. But as the showrunners, the two of us feel like we owe it to the fans to be realistic about the chances of the show continuing."

Pointing out how many logistics stand in the way and noting that "resurrecting the show would be extremely cost prohibitive," the bottom line is that the studio and executives "unfortunately can’t make the numbers work," no matter how much support is garnered:

"At this point it’s virtually impossible. There’s a million mind-numbing production logistics working against us at this point, and resurrecting the show would be extremely cost prohibitive. Trust us, the executives truly do love the show, and hear your dedication to it, but they unfortunately can’t make the numbers work. Just speaking from our hearts, we can’t in good conscience let a community that we love and care about expend resources without being totally honest about the realities."

He also kept a form of hope alive in this same message by highlighting "a lot of people hurting financially" not only in the entertainment industry but across the world too:

"But this doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. Gotham Knights is a show about the power of each one of us to become a light strong enough to defy the darkness. Right now, there are a lot of people hurting financially - in our industry, around the world, in our communities - and we would humbly suggest that perhaps fans direct resources and passion towards being that light wherever you can."

This included offering a call to action for those fighting for fair wages in the ongoing Writer's Guild of America (WGA) strike along with a call to support star Misha Collins' "de-mining fund on behalf of the Ukrainian people:"

"Thousands of crew members are out of work in an effort to fight for fair wages. If you have the means, please consider donating to the Entertainment Fund (entertainmentcommunity.org). Or add your voice to the growing chorus of people demanding better working conditions and more pay across ALL industries. Or support Misha Collins’ de-mining fund on behalf of the Ukrainian people (donorbox.org/collins demining). Or donate or volunteer at your local food bank. If you don’t have the resources, even speaking out in support of social justice can work wonders. We honestly can’t imagine a better legacy for the show."

Stoteraux closed his statement by thanking the viewers for their support and for "being totally and wonderfully weird about it" from start to finish:

"So, thank you again for embracing and supporting 'GOTHAM KNIGHTS' - and for being totally and wonderfully weird about it! We wouldn’t have it any other way. So much love to you all.

Your eternally grateful (if somewhat deranged Gotham Knights Showrunners,


Where Will Batman Return to the DCU?

With reports nothing that Gotham Knights was the cheapest-produced show in the DC line-up, and considering the widely negative reviews, it's unfortunate that the series didn't get much of a chance to succeed on The CW.

Now, while it's still unknown whether the characters from this specific series will return to the spotlight anytime soon, the Caped Crusader himself is already set for an extended future through various avenues.

Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck are holding down the Bat-fort in The Flash now that the movie is finally in theaters, with many fans already reacting favorably to their tag-team efforts.

Additionally, director Andy Muschietti will move from his efforts on that movie to the upcoming The Brave and the Bold in James Gunn's new DCU while Matt Reeves continues his own story in 2025's The Batman - Part II.

The big question now is whether the Gotham Knights heroes/antiheroes will find their way into other movies and TV shows from the new DCU, which already will highlight plenty of new and legacy characters across the board.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.