Five Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) productions from Warner Bros. Animation and one from Hanna-Barbera Europe will no longer be heading to HBO Max after they’re finished.
Instead, the company plans to shop them to other networks and platforms, including possibly some of its own subsidiaries like Cartoon Netework.
While a major letdown for animation fans who subscribe to HBO Max, the news isn’t quite as devastating as the Warner Bros. cancellations which have dominated the news cycle this summer. That’s because these six titles haven’t been outright cancelled. We’ve been able to confirm that crews were still working this week on at least some of the projects.
According to a report from TV Line, which broke the story, the six titles are:
Batman: Caped Crusader
- Announced in May of last year, the series will reimagine the Batman character with “state-of-the-art animation techniques and technologies.” Bruce Timm, co-creator of the legendary Batman: The Animated Series, is executive producing with J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves (director of last year’s live-action box office hit The Batman). The series will channel “Batman’s noir roots, while diving deeper into the psychology of these iconic characters,” the trio said when the show was announced.
The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie (working title)
- The Gumball movie comes from series creator Ben Bocquelet and is produced at Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe. The film is meant to serve as a bridge between the original smash hit series The Amazing World of Gumball (2011-2019) and the new Gumball series, which is reportedly still in the works.
Merry Little Batman
- A kids and family title, this Bat-comedy follows six-year-old Damian Wayne in a Home Alone-type scenario in which he must transform into Little Batman and protect Wayne Manor from malevolent forces which seek to ruin the holiday season. Mike Roth is executive producing and directing from a screenplay by Morgan Evans.
Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes Musical
- Announced in June, Vivo co-director Brandon Jeffords will direct and serve as supervising producer. The film features a screenplay and lyrics by Emmy winner Ariel Dumas and music and orchestration by Pulitzer Prize, Tony, and Grammy winner Tom Kitt. The film stars Bugs as a burnt-out Broadway superstar who trades in the spotlight for a life as a normal rabbit. After Daffy takes the stage to fill Bug’s vacant spotlight, he is kidnapped by an obsessed fan, forcing Bugs to embark on a rescue mission.
The Day the Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie
- Kevin Costello (writer of 2021’s Tom & Jerry feature) wrote this film starring Daffy and Porky as a pair of unlikely heroes who uncover an alien mind-control plan. Pete Browngardt (Uncle Grandpa, Looney Tunes Cartoons) is executive producing.
Did I Do That to the Holidays: A Steve Urkel Story
- Inspired by the nerdy neighbor from the 1990s comedy Family Matters, this holiday special was written and is executive produced by Wyatt Cenec. The film stars original Urkel actor Jaleel White.
The decision by Warner to drop at least three straight-to-streaming features from the HBO Max platform isn’t a surprise. In a Q2 earnings call earlier this month, CEO David Zaslav said that Warner would no longer produce films that were intended to go direct to the company’s streaming platform, adding that any future Warner films, animated or otherwise, would get a theatrical run before they hit HBO Max (or whatever the hybrid Warner-Discovery platform is called in the future).