New ‘Batman’ TV Series From Matt Reeves and JJ Abrams: Everything We Know

in DC

Batman (Robert Pattinson) on a bridge

Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

This year, Batman finally returns to the small screen for a brand-new Amazon Prime Video television series from executive producers Matt Reeves and JJ Abrams.

The Dark Knight is no stranger to television. While he typically dominates the movie theater arena, whether it’s under director Tim Burton (Batman, Batman Returns), Joel Schumacher (Batman Forever, Batman & Robin), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy), Zack Snyder (Batman v Superman: Dawn Justice), or Matt Reeves (The Batman), he’s beaten just as many iconic Gotham City villains to a pulp on the small screen.

Batman (Ben Affleck) costume in the 'Batman v Superman' trailer
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

The Batman (1966 — 1968) was the first series in the franchise, which saw Adam West and Burt Ward suit up as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Dick Grayson/Robin, respectively. The only other notable live-action series is Gotham (2014 — 2019), which focuses on a young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Detective James “Jim” Gordon (Ben McKenzie).

There are a few other shows you probably didn’t even know existed (with good reason): Birds of Prey (2002 – 2003), Titans (2018 – 2023), Batwoman (2019 – 2022), and Gotham Knights (2023). The next live-action series is HBO’s The Penguin (2024), in which Colin Farrell reprises his role as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin from Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which stars Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight.

However, the animated version of Gotham City continues to be the most dominant on television.

Batman animated shows date all the way back to 1968. The first one, The Adventures Of Batman (1968 — 1969), was centered around the live-action 1966 series, however, Adam West and Burt Ward only reprised their roles as the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder in animation in 1977’s The New Adventures Of Batman. But Batman: The Animated Series (1992 — 1995) remains the gold-standard cartoon series of the entire franchise. It was so popular that it was followed by another series, The New Batman Adventures (1997 — 1999).

Related: Batman: Every Returning Version of the Dark Knight Explained

Batman: Caped Crusader

Harley Quinn, Batman, and The Joker in 'Batman: The Animated Series'
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Now, a brand-new animated series set for Amazon Prime Video is in the works from Bruce Timm, the creator of the cult classic Batman: The Animated Series, which starred the late Kevin Conroy as the Dark Knight and Star Wars‘ Mark Hamill as The Joker.

Originally set for HBO but later picked up by Prime, the series comes with a huge twist that breaks new ground for the 85-year-old franchise. The first Batman comic was released in 1939 (“Detective Comics #27”), and now, Gotham City is set to go back to that era in Batman: Caped Crusader (2024).

Related: Confirmed: Michael Keaton’s Batman Will Finally Return in Direct Sequel to 1989 Film

A Different Kind of Gotham City

Batman on a skyscraper with lightning behind him in 'Batman: The Animated Series'
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bruce Timm talks about the decision behind the period-piece setting, explaining that all the modern technology seen in most iterations of the world-famous superhero were a no-go for him and character designer James Tucker:

“James [Tucker] and I are both really big fans of movies from that era [the 1940s], so we decided to really lean into that in terms of the clothes, the cars, the architecture, and the level of technology. Early on, we decided there would be no computers and no cell phones. That changed everything.”

How will he manage without his grapple-hook, smoke-bombs, and ear-pieces?

Related: Michael Keaton’s Batman History Explained as Official “Burton-Verse” Sequel Looms

Batman: Caped Crusader Characters

Harley Quinn (Lady Gaga) and Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) in 'Joker: Folie à Deux'
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

While the upcoming series starring “The World’s Greatest Detective” abandons the modern era for a 1940s-set detective noir aesthetic, Caped Crusader still features many Gotham City characters, including Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Clayface, and Harley Quinn.

The two former Rogues Gallery villains’ new look is inspired by their appearance from the original comic, but this time, Quinn is portrayed as Asian-American and has undergone a complete character makeover (and no, we aren’t talking about her jester outfit).

“I co-created the character, so I have a lot of love and affection for her,” Timm says, “but I thought there might be something interesting about bringing her on the show, just not as Joker’s girlfriend. So how do we do that? A big part was just doing a basic flip. The original Dr. Quinzel was a little bit more serious, and then when she became Harley, she got really goofy and weird. So we thought, what if we reverse that? When she’s Dr. Quinzel, she’s a little bit more whimsical and fun, and then when she’s Harley Quinn, she’s scary.”

In recent years, Harley Quinn has been made famous by Margot Robbie in the DC Universe (DCU) Suicide Squad movies. Later this year, however, superstar Lady Gaga will take on the iconic role in the highly anticipated sequel Joker: Folie à Deux (2024).

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn looking happy in 'Birds of Prey' (2020)
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

In Caped Crusader, Dr. Harley Quinzel doesn’t occupy her usual Arkham Asylum setting. Instead, she’s assigned to treating Bruce Wayne of all people. But even the Gotham vigilante won’t be the one you’re so often used to seeing across all forms of media. This time, he’s described as “a really weird human being” who isn’t “obsessed with his parents’ murder” but that “he’s still not adjusted to being a human being.”

Ben Affleck as Batman in 'Batman v Superman'
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

“He’s literally Batman; inside, that’s who he is,” Timm explains. “Whenever he’s Bruce Wayne, that’s not just him with a mask off, that’s him wearing a person suit. He’s trying to pretend to be something that he’s not.”

Tucker adds, “The idea was to keep him so removed that no one knows who he is, and no one knows what he’s about. We try to wipe out the foregone conclusion that he’s a hero, whether it’s for the police, regular citizens of Gotham, or the viewers.”

Variety has shared a set of first-look photos from the series which show Bruce Wayne/Batman, Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Clayface, Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn, and Commissioner James “Jim” Gordon.

No voice actors have been confirmed. The late Kevin Conroy, who voiced the iconic hero in several animated shows, movies, and games, would have been an obvious choice, however, there are plenty of other “legacy” actors who could reprise their roles in the new series, such as Michael Keaton, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattinson.

What’s Batman: Caped Crusader About?

Batman in 'Batman: The Animated Series'
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Here’s the official logline for Batman: Caped Crusader:

“Welcome to Gotham City, where the corrupt outnumber the good, criminals run rampant and law-abiding citizens live in a constant state of fear. Forged in the fire of tragedy, wealthy socialite Bruce Wayne becomes something both more and less than human—the BATMAN. His one-man crusade for justice attracts unexpected allies within the GCPD and City Hall, but his heroic actions spawn deadly, unforeseen ramifications.”

After Caped Crusader was scrapped at HBO, Prime Video ordered two seasons of the show.

When’s It Available to Stream?

The first season (which has 10 episodes) will be available to stream on August 1.

Batman: Caped Crusader is produced under Warner Bros. Animation, Bad Robot Productions, and 6th & Idaho. JJ Abrams, Bruce Timm, Ed Brubaker, James Tucker, Daniel Pipski, Rachel Rusch Rich, Sam Register, and Matt Reeves (director of The Batman) are all onboard as executive producers.

Are you excited about the new animated series? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

View Comment (1)