HBO Max has announced it's making Batman: Caped Crusader, a new animated show with some pretty big names behind it: Bruce Timm, overseer of DC's biggest animated hits like the original Batman: The Animated Series, The Batman director Matt Reeves and The Rise of Skywalker's JJ Abrams. Cartoon Network is also behind the series.
The show sounds like a big deal. Focused on Batman's roots as a noir character, the series promises to be made with state-of-the-art animation techniques and technology, which will hopefully result in a series that looks as nice as The Animated Series did.
This is an all-new iteration of Batman for the small screen, promising to reinvent both the Dark Knight and his villains. The series should entertain adults, though, with a focus being placed squarely on detailed characterization and great storytelling. HBO Max's announcement mentions The Animated Series several times – so clearly that's part of the magic they're trying to tap into, here.
"We are beyond excited to be working together to bring this character back, to tell engrossing new stories in Gotham City," a statement from Abrams, Timm and Reeves said. "The series will be thrilling, cinematic and evocative of Batman’s noir roots, while diving deeper into the psychology of these iconic characters. We cannot wait to share this new world."
Reeves and Abrams are long-time collaborators, with each being co-creators of the show Felicity. They later worked on the movie Cloverfield together.
This is the second project Reeves is working on for HBO Max – he's also producing a series focused on Gotham's police department that's set in the same universe as 2022's The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson.
It's unclear when this new show will launch.
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Analysis: HBO Max doubles down on DC
This is far from the only DC project that HBO Max has going on. Alongside the Gotham PD show and this new animated series, the service is already the home of originals like Titans, Doom Patrol and the Harley Quinn animated show. Abrams, meanwhile, is rumored to be producing a show based on John Constantine, a DC fan favorite British character, while a Green Lantern Corps TV series is also in the works for the streamer.
Alongside the release of The Suicide Squad, too, director James Gunn is making a show based on John Cena's Peacemaker character. The Suicide Squad is also one of HBO Max's big 2021 day-and-date premieres – it's set to land on the service from August 6, the same time it hits US theaters.
Leaning into familiar characters makes a lot of sense for a service that's trying to get eyeballs – but a Batman animated show is arguably the most exciting project of the whole lot, based on Timm's previous animated work.