After Batman: Caped Crusader was canceled at HBO Max last August, the upcoming animated series from Matt Reeves and J.J. Abrams has found a new home at Amazon with a two-season order, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Billed as a “reimagining of the Batman mythology,” Caped Crusader is also executive produced by DC animation legend Bruce Timm, who co-created the iconic Batman: The Animated Series. It was ordered to series in May 2021, with Reeves and Abrams describing it as “diving deeper into the psychology of these iconic characters” of Gotham City.
Other animated series axed by HBO Max in the last year include 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, and The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie. Warner Bros. Animation is the studio for each one except for the latter, and they all will be shopped elsewhere.
This latest move follows a merger of Warner Bros. Discovery which has resulted in HBO Max and Discovery+ preparing to be relaunched as one streaming platform. Most of the casualties have been on HBO Max’s end as the parent company’s CEO David Zaslav attempts to makes good on a promise to cut $3 billion in expenses.
WBD shut down CNN+ a mere three weeks after it launched, shelved the already-finished Batgirl despite its $90 million price tag to save $15-20 million in tax write-offs, and removed over 200 classic episodes of Sesame Street (among dozens of other series) to avoid paying out residuals. HBO’s own John Oliver summed it all up on the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, saying, “It’s not TV. It’s a series of tax write-offs to appease Wall Street.”
In a blatantly transparent attempt to attract and lock in viewers, HBO Max is temporarily offering a 30% discount on annual subscription plans for new and returning US customers until October 30th. The currently untitled streaming service combining HBO Max and Discovery+ is expected to launch in Summer 2023.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include reports that the series is moving to Amazon.