The Bruce Timm project Batman: Caped Crusader had already been in production for fifteen months following a series order placed with Warner Bros. Animation by HBO Max when, at length, HBO Max pulled the plug. Most of the productions are Warner Bros. Animation projects, and production continues on all of them while they get shopped around to see who else might want to buy them.

Batman: Caped Crusader is an animated reimagining of the Batman mythology by way of Batman: The Animated Series‘ own Bruce Timm, with J.J. Abrams, Matt Reeves and Ed Brubaker also serving as executive producers. It was Reeves who directed The Batman, the big screen’s most recent live-action take on the Dark Knight (now played by Robert Pattinson), while Abrams — in addition to of course numerous Star Trek and Star Wars projects, plus TV’s Lost and Alias — is an executive produder on HBO Max’s still-in-development Justice League Dark series.

Utilizing state-of-the-art animation techniques and technologies, the creative partnership between WB Animation and these executive producers hopes to “reinvent Batman and his iconic rogue’s gallery with sophisticated storytelling, nuanced characters and intense action sequences all set in a visually striking world.”

We have to admit, the show has some pretty good DNA with those particular people in charge.

The other shows cut from HBO Max’s lineup were:

  • Merry Little Batman, in which six year old Damien Wayne finds himself alone in Wayne Manor. He must transform into “Little Batman” in order to defend his home and Gotham City from the crooks and super-villains intent on destroying Christmas.  Mike Roth executive-produces and directs, from a screenplay by Morgan Evans.
  • The Day The Earth Blew Up, a Porky Pig and Daffy Duck adventure in which their antics at a local bubble gum factory uncovers an alien mind control plot. Naturally, it’s Porky and Daffy’s turn to save the world.
  • An animated feature, and the first for Loony Tunes, Bye Bye Bugs has an exhausted Bugs Bunny deciding to trade sold-out shows for life as a regular rabbit. That opens the door for the attention-craving Daffy Duck to bid for the lead role  — until he is kidnapped by an obsessive fan who has sinister plans for her favorite stage duck.
  • Then there’s Did I Do That to the Holidays, an animated musical special that finds  Jaleel White reprising his legendary nerd character for  only the second time since Family Matters ended in 1998. In our opinion, we find it unlikely that fans were clammoring for this one. Go figure.
  • There is also an Amazing World of Gumball movie in the works, where a superfan finds a portal into Gumball’s world. There is no title for that one yet. Of the six projects being yeeted by HBO Max, this was the only one being produced by Register and Brookman’s Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe.


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