Amazon Rescues J.J. Abrams’ ‘Batman: Caped Crusader’ With 2-Season Order

The Bruce Timm, Matt Reeves and J.J. Abrams-produced animated series was initially at HBO Max

"Batman: Caped Crusader" (Warner Bros.)

Amazon Studios has ordered two seasons of “Batman: Caped Crusader.” The animated series is being billed as a reimagining of the Batman mythology via executive producers Bruce Timm, J.J. Abrams, Matt Reeves, Sam Register and Ed Brubaker.

The show, produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Bad Robot Productions and 6th & Idaho, was initially positioned as an HBO Max original before Warner Bros. Discovery changed course. It was not canceled, as initially reported elsewhere, but merely put out into the third-party licensing marketplace.  

Considering the IP in question, and the creators involved, it can be speculated that it fetched a lot more cash-in-hand revenue from Amazon than it would have earned as a first-party HBO Max title. 

Timm was the co-creator, alongside Eric Radomski, of the groundbreaking and universally acclaimed “Batman: The Animated Series” which ran for over 100 episodes first on Fox and then on WB from 1992 to 1999. The stylized, art-deco action drama launched what would become known as the DCAU, or the DC Animated Universe which ran up until the series finale of “Justice League Unlimited” in 2006.   

It is not confirmed to what extent “Batman: Caped Crusader” will be a continuation of the “Batman: The Animated Series” continuity or to what extent it will touch upon the events of Matt Reeves’ “The Batman.” That film earned strong reviews and $770 million worldwide last year, with an HBO Max television offshoot starring Colin Farrell’s Penguin currently in production and a theatrical sequel set for October of 2025. 

However, the initial pitch offered up to fans at the 2021 DC Fandome was, to quote Bruce Timm, “more ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ than ‘Batman: The Animated Series.” 

While “Batman: The Animated Series” was initially inspired by Tim Burton’s “Batman” and “Batman Returns,” including movie-faithful designs for Catwoman and The Penguin, it quickly charted its own course as its own adult-friendly but kid-appropriate action drama that remains one of the most celebrated versions of Batman in any medium.  

Kevin Conroy, who passed away exactly four months ago today, became to many the definitive incarnation, live-action or otherwise, of the Caped Crusader, while Mark Hamill’s work as The Joker –filling in at the last minute for a dismissed Tim Curry — helped give the former “Star Wars” actor a second career as a top-tier voice-over artist.