HBOMax Cancels In Production Animated BATMAN: CAPED CRUSADER, Series Will Be Shopped

Batman Crusader
Image via Warner Bros Animation

Another day, another round of cut projects over at Warner Brothers Discovery it seems.

Variety is reporting that the currently in production animated series Batman: Caped Crusader has been cancelled by the HBO Max streaming service.

The series stars Diedrich Bader voicing the titular Caped Crusader and is being executive produced by Bruce Timm, J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves. The show was ordered direct to series 18 months ago.

Batman: The Crusader is the highest profile series in this latest round of cuts being led by newly appointed Warner Brothers Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who has mandated a radical shift in priorities for HBO Max. Many of these cuts have come to the animated content that previously had been available or was set to premier on the streaming service.

Other projects getting the axe 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 and The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie.

Warner Brother Animation is the studio behind all of these series except The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie, which is being made by H-B Studios Europe. Variety states that all of these projects will continue through production and then be shopped up to other streaming services.

But even with the sweeping cuts already coming from Zaslav’s office, the news of the cancellation of this new Batman animated series does seem to come out of nowhere. The character is one of Warners’ most recognizable characters, not just in its stable of DC Comics superheroes but out of all the intellectual property that the studio owns. Added value to the series is the involvement of Timm, who was co-creator on 1992’s groundbreaking Batman: The Animated Series and was involved with a number of other animated series and direct-to-video films involving DC Comics characters. Timm’s involvement gave the project some built-in credibility and had definitely generated interest in fan communities interested in comics and animation.

Previously during a recent investors call, Zaslav crowed about the number of characters owned by Warner Brothers that could be used for movies and television, specifically calling out Batman by name. It seems odd that he would then cancel an anticipated series featuring the character and allow it to be shopped to another, competing outlet.

Zaslav’s cost-cutting measures do not seem to be having the effect on Wall Street that he is hoping for. Warner Brothers Discovery stock has lost mire than half of its value over the last six months from $28.21/share at the close of the market on February 23 to today’s closing price of $12.71/share.

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About Rich Drees 6999 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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