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HBO Max cancels plans for Batman: Caped Crusader — but there’s hope

Batman in the Batman: Caped Crusader promotional image
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Warner Bros. and Discovery merger has claimed another victim, as upcoming animated series Batman: Caped Crusader will not be moving forward at HBO Max, reports TVLine (opens in new tab)

The TV show was pitched as a spiritual successor to 90s favorite Batman: The Animated Series and was to be executive produced by JJ Abrams, Matt Reeves and Bruce Timm. The involvement of the latter two is especially significant. Reeves was the director of the most recent batflick, The Batman, and Timm was a co-creator of the aforementioned Batman animated show which is often cited as one of the best comic book series ever created. 

With such a wealth of talent involved, as well as Batman’s overall solid track record in the animated space, anticipation for Batman: Caped Crusader was soaring pretty high. But this news throws something of a spanner in the works. However, it’s important to note that, for now at least, the show isn’t definitively canceled but rather it’s no longer being produced for HBO Max. 

This essentially means that the show is now without a home and finds itself in a sort of television no man’s land. However, TVLine's sources have indicated that production will continue as the search for a new network or streaming service to host the series takes place in the background.  

There is still a possibility that a new home for Caped Crusader cannot be found, in which case the show would almost certainly be axed, but the odds of another network or streaming service picking it up seem high. After all, this is a fairly bankable Batman show with seriously reputable names attached, it’s not hard to see why rival broadcasters would be interested.

Batman: Caped Crusader is just one of six animated projects not moving forward at HBO Max. The others 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. All of these projects will also remain in production while they are shopped to interested parties. 

These animated movies and shows being moved to new homes is just one of the many consequences of the planned merger of HBO Max (still the best streaming service) and Discovery Plus. The two streaming services being combined has become quite a controversial topic, primarily because it has resulted in the removal of sizable sections of HBO Max’s library. Most recently the service lost 37 movies and TV shows in an effort to cut costs before the streaming service merge rolls out beginning summer 2023. 

Rory Mellon
Deals Editor

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.