The Hollywood Reporter has announced that the next Batman animated TV series, Batman: The Caped Crusader, a project to be produced by JJ Abrams, Matt Reeves, and Bruce Timm, has found a home on the Amazon streaming service.
First announced in May 2021, the show was to be developed for HBO Max. The pedigree of the talent behind the proposed show couldn’t have been higher. Bruce Timm was the architect behind Batman: The Animated Series (1995), not only the best Batman cartoon series to date but amongst the most well-regarded Batman screen productions of all time. Matt Reeves is riding high on the critically acclaimed movie The Batman (2022), while J.J. Abrams is perhaps the most well-known of the three thanks to a huge film and TV resume which includes the Star Wars and Star Trek reboots. Surely a cartoon series has never had such a heavyweight list of producers.
However, financial success can never be entirely guaranteed. Over the last couple of years Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of all Warner Bros. divisions has been looking to cut costs and monetize content by selling projects to third-party buyers. Work on Batman: The Caped Crusader was canceled in August 2022 along with six other animated projects and the Batgirl movie. While the details of the deal with Amazon are still being finalized, it seems that the future of the project has been secured for not just one, but two seasons with 10 episodes solicited for the first.
So what do we know about the project? Very little at this early stage. It’s been billed as “A re-imagining of the Batman mythology” and from two early pieces of artwork, it looks like Bruce Timm has been turning to Bob Kane’s original design for the character with grey and black coloring and those frighteningly pointy ears. Abrams’ promise that the series will delve into Batman’s “noir roots” bears out with the appointment of Ed Brubaker as a lead writer. One of the biggest names in crime comics thanks to his Criminal and Reckless series, Brubaker also has form with The Dark Knight having worked on titles such as Batman, Catwoman, and Gotham Central which brilliantly blended crime stories with DC characters. Tellingly he’s been quoted as describing the show as “a slightly more pulpy take on the character, and a new way of looking at the world of Gotham, set in the past but viewed through a modern lens.”
It’s been both an exciting and nerve-wracking few months for DCU fans not knowing which proposed and existing projects are to be canceled or withdrawn, either due to cost-cutting measures, or the continuity-setting reboot proposed by James Gunn in his ten-year plan for the company. For those in the know, Batman: The Caped Crusader was a big one so it’s a relief to know that it will join The Batman: Part II and The Penguin TV show under the Elseworlds banner.
Having Bruce Timm at the helm is exciting enough, but with Hollywood heavy-hitters Reeves and Abrams, it’s a sign of just how seriously animated shows are taken nowadays. With cheaper production, easier adaptation for overseas, and crossover merchandise marketing it’s easy to see the sense financially too. Considering that Batman: The Animated Series ran for over 100 episodes, who knows what the future could bring?
What are your hopes for the series? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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