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'Batman: Caped Crusader' from Bruce Timm & J.J. Abrams dead at HBO Max, could land elsewhere

The return of Bruce Timm's Batman has stalled, but there's still hope.

By Matthew Jackson
Batman Caped Crusader key art hero

The dramatic shifts at HBO Max continue. Variety reports that several major animation projects at the streaming service, including the much-anticipated new series Batman: Caped Crusader, are no longer moving forward as HBO Max releases.

This time around, though, there's hope for each of the projects to have a future. The report also notes that production has not stopped on any of the six projects in question, and that all will be shopped around to other networks to distribute the work. The other projects affected by the decision include Merry Little BatmanThe Day the Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes MovieBye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes MusicalThe Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie, and Did I Do That to the Holidays: A Steve Urkel Story

Though each of the projects would have found some audience at HBO Max, the Caped Crusader news is the one that hits hardest for many fans. Announced last year as a project building on the legendary Batman: The Animated Series, the show united the efforts of Batman: TAS co-creator Bruce Timm and executive producers J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves, and was viewed as an attempt at continuing the style of storytelling that made the original animated series so great. Now, the future of that series is in question, though there's a good chance someone out there is willing to pick up a high-profile comic book series with such top-tier talent attached. 

The move to cancel these series at HBO Max is part of a larger recent effort at the streamer to scale back kids and family programming. Since its inception, HBO Max has been home to a wide variety of Cartoon Network programming, as well as the streaming home to beloved children's show Sesame Street, but now new Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav is out to change that. In the past week alone that streamer has dropped several major animated shows from its offerings, including acclaimed series like Infinity Train, and even pulled dozens of Sesame Street episodes from the service. It's unclear how deep the cuts will go, but it seems like they're not done yet. 

The move to push these six upcoming projects out of the HBO Max sphere comes just weeks after the streamer made the shocking announcement that the Batgirl film starring Leslie Grace in the title role would be scrapped, despite the production virtually complete. The era of upheaval at the streamer continues, and we still don't know where it ends. 

Looking for more action in the meantime? Find films like Gods of Egypt, The Mummy trilogy, The Book of Eli, Upgrade and more streaming now on Peacock.