Following the abrupt cancellation of the already-completed Batgirl film, HBO Max continues its slaughter on the DCEU by scrapping several in-development projects, including the animated series Batman: Caped Crusader.
The other HBO Max originals — which were also animated — getting canceled are:
- 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
- The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie
The highly anticipated Batman animation received a straight-to-series order from HBO Max a little over a year ago, so what happened? Why was Batman: Caped Crusader canceled at HBO Max? Keep reading for all the known details.
Why was 'Batman: Caped Crusader' canceled at HBO Max?
On Aug. 22, Variety reported that HBO Max canceled six upcoming animation projects, including Batman: Caped Crusader. The show received a straight-to-series order in May 2021, with Bruce Timm, J.J. Abrams, and Matt Reeves set to executive produce.
For those unaware, Batman: Caped Crusader would've served as a spiritual successor to the esteemed '90s animated series Batman: The Animated Series. The show, which Bruce Timm co-developed and co-created, is widely considered one of the greatest animated shows ever and arguably the best superhero show overall.
So, what went wrong? Why did HBO Max cancel Batman: Caped Crusader?
If you recall, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav previously announced that HBO Max would shift away from kids and family programming; by Aug. 18, the streaming service scrubbed nearly 40 titles, most of which were animated shows.
Unfortunately, Batman: Caped Crusader no longer corresponds with the image David Zaslav is trying to create for the DC Universe on HBO Max. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean the animated series won't work elsewhere.
'Batman: Caped Crusader' will be shopped to other networks and streaming services.
Although Batman: Caped Crusader will no loner move forward at HBO Max, the series will still have the opportunity to reach audiences on a new network or streaming service. On Aug. 23, Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter tweeted that "the show is deep in production [and] nothing is paused," meaning Batman: Caped Crusader plans to debut somewhere else.
As of now, fans are anticipating Netflix to purchase the rights to Batman: Caped Crusader.
The popular streaming service currently houses several DC Comics television adaptations, including Supergirl, Arrow, Gotham, and The Flash. Netflix also recently released The Sandman, a fantasy series based on the DC comic book of the same name.
"Hopefully, Netflix comes in and picks up Batman: Caped Crusader," one fan shared on Twitter. "Idk why Zaslav would pass on a show when Matt Reeves, Bruce Timm and J.J. Abrams [were] working on [it]." Another commented that Warner Bros. Discovery is "insane" for passing on Batman: Caped Crusader, adding that Netflix should buy the show and secure the profit.
On the other hand, some fans point out that Netflix isn't the right choice. Since the show initially landed at both HBO Max and Cartoon Network, it's logical for Batman: Caped Crusader to still end up on the latter.
"When Batman: Caped Crusader was announced, they said it will also be on Cartoon Network (not just HBO Max), so it’ll probably end up there," a fan wrote on Twitter, concluding their tweet by noting that "there is still hope."