Before he was a vengeful Dark Knight, Batman was a caped crusader. And now, Batman is getting a new, retro-styled animated series set for HBO Max and Cartoon Network.
Titled Batman: Caped Crusader, the series was announced Wednesday, May 19, 2020. It brings together the combined creative might of J.J. Abrams, The Batman director Matt Reeves, and Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Bruce Timm.
Here’s everything we know so far about Batman: Caped Crusader. Bookmark this page and come back often as we’ll update it when we learn more about the series, including new images, trailers, cast lists, plot synopsis, and more.
When can I watch Batman: Caped Crusader on HBO Max?
So far, we have no clear timeframe for Batman: Caped Crusader to make its debut on Cartoon Network or HBO Max. One might expect the series to premiere in 2022 or 2023, depending on the current state of the series’ production. We will update this section as soon as we know more.
What is Batman: Caped Crusader?
Batman: Caped Crusader is a new Batman animated series streaming on HBO Max and broadcast on Cartoon Network. The series was announced in 2020 via press release.
The series is billed as “an all-new animated series and reimagining” of Batman’s mythology “through the visionary lens” of Bruce Timm, J.J. Abrams, and Matt Reeves.
- Bruce Timm is best known as the co-creator of the Emmy Award-winning Batman: The Animated Series.
- Matt Reeves is the director of The Batman, slated to hit theaters in 2022.
- J.J. Abrams is currently signed to an exclusivity deal with WarnerMedia, where the Star Wars and Star Trek director is involved with a number of different Warner projects. These include a new Superman movie starring a Black lead, and a new Constantine television series.
Comics creator Ed Brubaker is also involved in writing the series, according to a recent report in The Hollywood Reporter. Brubaker has a history with Batman, as he started penning the comics for DC in the early 2000s.
In a combined statement, Abrams and Reeves hint the series will take place in a noir-inspired Gotham City informed by the earliest Batman comics.
“The series will be thrilling, cinematic, and evocative of Batman’s noir roots”
“We are beyond excited to be working together to bring this character back, to tell engrossing new stories in Gotham City,” Abrams and Reeves say in the statement. “The series will be thrilling, cinematic and evocative of Batman’s noir roots, while diving deeper into the psychology of these iconic characters.”
Batman: Caped Crusader will screen on both Cartoon Network and HBO Max, which suggests the series will either air on Cartoon Network first before streaming exclusively on HBO Max, or vice versa. (Swamp Thing and Stargirl, two other DC Comics TV shows, were exclusive to the now-offline DC Universe streaming app before transitioning to The CW.)
What will Batman: Caped Crusader look like?
There is only one promotional image of Batman: Caped Crusader released so far:
The poster strongly evokes the style of original Batman artist Bill Finger, with sharp long ears and angled white eyes. Here’s an original panel by Finger:
Who is starring in Batman: Caped Crusader?
The cast for Batman: Caped Crusader has not been announced. The show is likely undergoing the casting process as we speak. We will update this section as soon as Warner announces its starring cast, including who will lend their voice to Batman.
What is the plot of Batman: Caped Crusader?
There is no confirmed plot synopsis available for Batman: Caped Crusader. Based on the visual style of the series, we can only guess it will take place in the early days of Batman’s crime-fighting career as he takes on pulp and noir interpretations of his most memorable enemies.
In the press release, the series teases how it will weaponize “state-of-the-art animation techniques and technologies available” as it will “reinvent Batman and his iconic rogue’s gallery with sophisticated storytelling, nuanced characters, and intense action sequences all set in a visually striking world.”
“Reinvent” may mean that iconic characters like Catwoman, the Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and more will undergo a change to suit the series’ apparent pulp style and tone.
Batman: Strange Days
Batman: Caped Crusader isn’t the first animated media to take inspiration from the earliest Batman comics. In 2014, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Batman, DC released an online animated short from Bruce Timm titled Batman: Strange Days.
The three-minute short starred a Finger-esque Batman on a mission to stop the evil scientist Hugo Strange, in a period piece set in the late 1930s.
The color palette was appropriately noir-inspired with a predominant sepia tone, which calls to mind the Batman film serials from 1943 and 1949.
With Bruce Timm at the helm of Batman: Caped Crusader, it’s not hard to look at Batman: Strange Days as a possible example of what’s to come. You can watch Batman: Strange Days on YouTube and in the embed below.