David Zaslav, President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, who previously stated that he wants to strategically build up the future of DC, and aim for “a long-term sustainable growth” has recently been, as we all know, engaging in some cleaning-up business, especially when it comes to the shelving, canceling and removing of notable titles. Previously, Batgirl, a $90 million budget film was canned by the studio. Scooby-Doo: Holiday Hunt was also axed.
Following up on its legacy, quite recently, several HBO Max — namely, 25 — animated series and cartoons were pulled. Completely gone from the database. Most of these have been removed without notifying the makers.
However, what truly shocked everyone was the company’s puzzling decision to not move forward with Batman: Caped Crusader. Albeit not canceled; just shopped to other outlets and up for grabs by other streaming services, the decision in itself seems contradictory to affirming sustainable growth for DC’s franchise. Now with the question of other competitors coming into the picture, is there a possibility of Disney+ acquiring the rights to the animated series? While the chances are slim, it is plausible.
Kevin Smith On Marvel Owning DC
Kevin Smith, a known filmmaker, author, and YouTuber, recently tackled the discussion of Batman: Caped Crusader and the future of the Matt Reeves, J. J. Abrams, and Bruce Timm endeavor. The animated series, based on the notable and ever-so-classic DC superhero, Batman, was originally supposed to premiere on HBO Max and Cartoon Network. However, now with newer strategies in place, the series has been dropped by HBO Max. The series will see its potential release carried out once it’s been picked by other suitors. And the demand is quite high, indeed.
According to recent reports, these suitors include major streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu – which is owned by Disney, and Apple TV+. Major household names; formidable forces to reckon with.
In his Fatman Beyond podcast, Kevin Smith, talking to co-host Marc Bernardin, discussed the plausibility of Marvel and Disney+ seizing the opportunity, which would be quite ironic for reasons we all know, but mainly — the years of competition between Marvel and DC. As said by Smith himself, “You know how Marvel owns [beats] DC? By literally owning DC.”
First Time In Years That A Batman Project Won’t Have A Warner Bros. Logo On It
Revealing intriguing details about the series, host, and journalist Marc Bernardin, who is writing an episode for Batman: Caped Crusader, had the following to say:
“Warner Brothers. Animation is still producing [it]. They are still going to make a Batman cartoon. And, um, they are going to sell it. They’re going to take it through the market. And somehow, for the first time in … 50 years, there will be a Batman thing in the world that does not have a DC logo on it or a Warner Brothers logo on it.”
The host further corrected himself, upon Kevin Smith inquisitively asking, “Why wouldn’t it have a DC logo on it?”. The basic crux of the matter is that Warner Bros. won’t have its logo on it, as it’s not theirs to air anymore. The series will be produced, but they’ll sell it off to someone else. According to Smith, the aspect of such a deal is revolutionary, as it feels like a decade since a step like this has taken place.
According to him, the major studios now have their own streaming networks. “The idea of the last decade has been to produce it [projects], and keep it in-house,” said Smith.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s decision seems to be a deviation from that path. What was interesting and hard to imagine for Marc Bernardin is that this time, a project which has the word “Batman” in it, is not the “interest to the parent company.”
A Hypothetical Kevin Feige Situation
The two hosts also addressed the plausibility of Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel Studios, potentially buying and acquiring the rights to the animated Batman project and putting it on Disney+ next to an array of Marvel content. To Kevin Smith, such a speculative and hypothetical decision sounds pretty smart. How can Marvel one-up DC? By literally owning DC. It’d be pretty ironic and somewhat hilarious if that is the course that Disney+ opts for.
At the moment though, the possibility of the animated series being on the aforementioned streaming platform is merely speculative. The most that can be substantiated for now is Hulu (owned by Disney) potentially buying the Bruce Timm series. However, with reports claiming that more and more streaming powerhouses are showing interest in Batman: Caped Crusader, it’d be interesting to see if Disney+ takes such an opportunity. On the other hand, the supposed future of DC, under David Zaslav, remains rather hazy.
As for now, Batman: Caped Crusader is still embarking on a journey to find its new home, amidst ongoing production. No release date has been confirmed as of yet.
Source: Kevin Smith