HBO Max Abandons Batman Show, Gets Picked Up By Competitor

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Batman, HBO Max

Batman: Caped Crusader reportedly found a new home after HBO Max opted to abandon the series being worked on by three top creatives.

DC will soon have two live-action Dark Knights on the go at once across Matt Reeves' The Batman franchise and James Gunn's new Brave and the Bold movie. But that hasn't stopped Warner Bros. Discovery from setting the course for a third new Bruce Wayne in the Batman: Caped Crusader animated series.

Although HBO Max opted not to move ahead with the project, Caped Crusader was revealed last August to be searching elsewhere for a new streaming home. This comes as Netflix just recently picked up Dead Boy Detectives, a series once set for HBO Max but was abandoned due to its conflicts with Gunn's DCU plans.

New Batman Series Finds Its Streaming Home

Batman Caped Crusader

According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), Batman: Caped Crusader seemingly found a new home at Amazon as the streaming giant picked up the DC animated series with a two-season order.

The news follows HBO Max's decision to scrap Caped Crusader last August in a cost-cutting move, following which the project was shopped to other streamers including Netflix, Apple, and even the Disney-owned Hulu.

Caped Crusader previously received a straight-to-series order at HBO Max a year and a half prior to the streamer's abandonment of the Batman series.

The Batman director Matt Reeves and Bad Robot's J.J. Abrams will serve as executive producers while Bruce Timm takes the lead as showrunner, just as he once did on Batman: The Animated Series. 

Abrams and Reeves opened up on Caped Crusader in a joint statement at the time of the announcement, revealing their excitement for the series which will be "thrilling, cinematic and evocative of Batman’s noir roots:"

“We are beyond excited to be working together to bring this character back, to tell engrossing new stories in Gotham City. The series will be thrilling, cinematic and evocative of Batman’s noir roots, while diving deeper into the psychology of these iconic characters. We cannot wait to share this new world.”

Veteran comic writer Ed Brubaker was announced as Caped Crusader's head writer in January 2022 with the show set for a 10-episode first season. The writer is best known as the creator of Marvel's Winter Soldier but also worked on some Batman-related books in the early 2000s as some of his first major ventures.

THR clarified that all parties involved refused to comment as the formal deals have not yet been closed at this time.

Why Batman: Caped Crusader Is So Exciting

Batman: Caped Crusader pushing ahead with a two-season order seems to offer hope for both the quality and future of the series. The news indicates this was not just a project that was too far along to cancel when James Gunn and Peter Safran took over DC in November 2022, but actually something special.

That should come as no surprise given the talent involved. After all, Matt Reeves is already being left to push ahead with The Batman universe as one of DC Studios' few Elseworlds projects while Bruce Timm's Batman: The Animated Series is regarded by many as the benchmark for a quality adaptation of the Dark Knight.

As almost two years have now passed since Caped Crusader was first announced, one can only imagine the first season is quite far along in development. While a 2023 release is somewhat unlikely at this point, the Batman animated series coming to Amazon in 2024 could be a very real possibility. 

Unfortunately, Caped Crusader likely won't bring back any of the Batman: The Animated Series cast after Bruce Wayne actor Kevin Conroy passed away in November 2022 and Joker actor Mark Hamill indicated he won't play the role again as without Conroy "there doesn’t seem to be a Batman for [him]."

Batman: Caped Crusader has yet to set a release window for its premiere on Amazon Prime.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.