First Batgirl, and now Batman? As Warner Bros. Discovery continues to clean house and lay the groundwork for changes to HBO Max and the future of the DCU, it appears that not even the Dark Knight is safe. In recent weeks, the studio has canceled the bulk of DC-related content on The CW, along with Strange Adventures on HBO Max, and even James Wan's own animated series, Aquaman: King of Atlantis.
Such decisions have left fans angry and the industry bewildered. After all, HBO Max is one of the more successful streaming services; and while Warner Bros. Discovery claims to be nixing DC content for the sake of the brand, the studio has yet to provide details on what the DCU will offer moving forward.
Now, yet another DC project which was headed to HBO Max has been kicked to the curb; and surprisingly, it's an anticipated animated take on the Caped Crusader.
Batman: Caped Crusader No Longer Headed to HBO Max
As reported by TVLine, Warner Bros. Discovery has axed yet another batch of HBO Max projects, including DC's animated series, Batman: Caped Crusader.
When the show was first ordered by HBO Max and Cartoon Network 15 months prior, Caped Crusader was described as a "reimagining" of the Batman mythos and "evocative of Batman's noir roots," with the promise of "sophisticated storytelling, nuanced characters and intense action sequences all set in a visually striking world."
While a number of HBO Max projects have been completely canceled in recent weeks, that's not the case with Batman: Caped Crusader. Instead, the series will be shopped to other outlets while production continues.
The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit shared the following:
"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."
Interestingly enough, Batman: Caped Crusader is produced by J.J. Abrams, Ed Brubaker, and The Batman director, Matt Reeves.
The Caped Crusader is Homeless?
The fact that Batman: Caped Crusader is moving forward but isn't welcome on HBO Max is strange, to say the least. HBO Max has long been the home for DC content, and Caped Crusader was expected to continue the great animated Batman tradition.
The fact that there's no interest in having the Defender of Gotham on the streamer may be a bit of a bellwether for the studio's plans for a combined HBO Max and Discovery+ and its view of animation.
It's also worth noting that Batman: Caped Crusader is also the second animated project produced by a live-action DC director to be booted from the service, with the first being James Wan's Aquaman: King of Atlantis.
While it's no secret at this point that Warner Bros. Discovery is focused on saving cash, there is a case to be made that the cost of alienating talent may prove to be much higher in the long run.
Along those lines, it's also worth noting that Matt Reeves isn't the only DC director producing Caped Crusader. Star Wars and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams is currently tied to Warner Bros.' Justice League Dark series. How or whether Batman: Caped Crusader will affect Reeves and Abrams's relationship with the studio remains to be seen.