Batman: Caped Crusader has found a new home at Amazon.
The streamer and retail giant has landed a two-season deal for the animated series, which was originally set up at HBO Max. Caped Crusader landed on the Jennifer Salke-led streamer after Warner Bros. Discovery, Warner Bros. Animation’s parent company, scrapped the show in August — more than a year after it was ordered straight to series — amid a round of cost-cutting. Other streamers, including Netflix, Apple and Hulu, also stepped into the hoops of the project, which marks a reunion for executive producers JJ Abrams and Matt Reeves, who previously worked on The WB Network’s Darling bliss.
Created by Bruce Timm, Abrams and Reeves, the animated series was sold to a streaming competitor as part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s effort to monetize content by selling projects to third-party buyers.
Representatives of all parties declined to comment as formal deals have not yet been completed.
Batman: Caped Crusaderwhich was first announced in May 2021, is said to date back to Timm’s 1990s Batman: The Animated Series, which is considered the benchmark for Dark Knight animated storytelling. Comics writer Ed Brubaker is part of the creative team and ran a writers’ room and serves as Timm’s right-hand man in the 10-episode first season.
The show’s move comes as DC studio bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran, who Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav hired late last year, are trying to bring order to DC’s properties. The duo have outlined a 10-year plan to tell a unified story across film, television, games and animation, although certain projects will fall outside of this mainline. These include Reeves’ The Batman: Part II and HBO Max spinoff series The Penguinand of course fare like Caped Crusader that is distributed outside the company.
Caped Crusader’The move to Amazon comes after Zaslav revealed his film studio would be evolving Lord of the rings movies. Amazon happens to control the TV rights to the Lord of the rings franchise and now counts Warners’ Batman as part of its service offerings.
“We’re really excited to work together to bring this character back and tell compelling new stories in Gotham City,” said Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Reeves (The Batman) said in a joint statement when Caped Crusader was first announced. “The series will be suspenseful, cinematic and reminiscent of Batman’s noir roots while delving deeper into the psychology of these iconic characters. We can’t wait to share this new world.”
For his part, Abrams has had a tough time at Warner Bros. Discovery lately. The prolific writer, director and producer remains at Warners with a sizable overall deal, but has seen many of his Bad Robot projects scrapped amid WBD’s recent cost-cutting spree. His plans for a larger Justice League Dark franchise, which should have consisted of several DC Comics shows including Madame X and Constantine, were scrapped. HBO was also shut down half worldwhich should have been the first original series written and created by Abrams since then edge area in 2008. At the time, sources said Abrams was looking for a budget of over $200 million for the show, but HBO execs wanted to keep it in the range of house of the dragon, which grossed $125 million. Before half worldHBO Max also dropped plans for Overlookan offshoot of The glow This is believed to have been sold to Netflix, although this has never been officially confirmed.
Animation, meanwhile, remains a key area of investment for networks and streamers alike. Aside from replicating well on streaming platforms, original ideas become hugely lucrative with success, thanks in part to the ability to turn characters into lines of merch. (See The Simpsons, Rick and Mortyetc.) At Amazon, Batman: Caped Crusader will join a list of animated fares also included ReversedRobert Kirkmans Invincible, Fairfax, The Legend of Vox Machina And The Boys Presents: Diabolical.
Aaron Couch contributed to this story.