A previously greenlit Batman TV show and Christmas special have been canceled at HBO Max, amid the company's seemingly ongoing content shakeup. According to TV Live, Batman: Caped Crusader and Merry Little Batman have both been dropped by Warner Bros. Batman: Caped Crusader was a collaboration between HBO Max and Cartoon Network, and would have been an "animated reimagining of the Batman mythology," with Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series), J.J. Abrams, Matt Reeves, and Ed Brubaker all serving as executive producers.
A description of Merry Little Batman reads: "In this animated family action comedy, when a six-year-old Damian Wayne finds himself alone in Wayne Manor, he must transform into "Little Batman" in order to defend his home and Gotham City from the crooks and super-villains intent on destroying Christmas." Other newly canceled shows include some new Looney Tunes projects and an animated holiday special based around Steve Urkel from the hit '90s sitcom Family Matters. Titled Did I Do That to the Holidays: A Steve Urkel Story, the "animated musical holiday special, written and executive-produced by Wyatt Cenec," would have found actor Jaleel White reprising his "legendary nerd character" for the animated special.
The animated Batman project cancellations come weeks after it was revealed that WB shut down the Batgirl film it was producing. In a subsequent interview, co-directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah shared what they were told about why the film was canceled. "The guys from Warner told us it was not a talent problem from our part or the actress, or even the quality of the movie," El Arbi said, per Variety. "They told us it was a strategic change. There was new management, and they wanted to save some money."
Fallah then added: "First, when I heard the news, I was shocked. I did not know how to react. I wanted to break stuff, cry. ... But seeing all this support on Twitter ... even big directors, from Edgar Wright to James Gunn, sent us supporting messages." El Arbi continued, "We just hope that one day, the movie would be released. For the cast, the crew ... we are a small family."
While the directors hope that one day their film will be seen, they caution fans that it would still need some work. "It cannot be released in its current state," El Arbi said. "There's no VFX ... we still had some scenes to shoot. So if one day they want us to release the 'Batgirl' movie, they'd have to give us the means to do it. To finish it properly with our vision."