Nearly 30 years have passed since Bruce Timm helped usher in a new era in superhero animation as one of the creative minds behind Batman: The Animated Series. Now, Timm is returning to the Dark Knight’s world as an executive producer on HBO Max’s Batman: Caped Crusader, and he’s bringing a few other big names along for the ride. Timm and his fellow producers, J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves, dropped by DC FanDome to discuss what they have planned for Batman’s new animated adventures.
According to Timm, his “elevator pitch” for the show was that it be “more Batman: The Animated Series than Batman: The Animated Series. He promised that Caped Crusader will adhere to many of the “original principles” that made the original show a success. However, the new series won’t be as confined by the limits of your average children’s cartoon. In other words, the producers have the opportunity to showcase more adult themes, including grittier violence.
Reeves also told us what kind of Batman viewers meet when the new show premieres. In this incarnation, the Justice League doesn’t exist yet. So Bruce Wayne won’t have any of his crime-fighters partners to call on when things get out of control. Co-executive producer James Tucker also added that this Batman will be “low-tech, initially” meaning he won’t be as reliant on gadgets until he becomes more developed as a character. We can also look forward to watching him play around with different Batmobile prototypes.
“That’s part of the fun of this series,” said Tucker. “We’re finding him discovering these things that [in] most other Batman series already were there.”
It definitely sounds like the creators are using Caped Crusader to present a version of the character that’s never been seen before. Abrams described the show’s first season as “a complex psychological story about someone who, in a way, needs to be redeemed,” with Tucker adding that Batman still hasn’t fully earned Gotham’s trust. As for the series’ visual style, Timm hinted that it’s heavily inspired by German expressionism and film noir. Plus, it takes place in a “kind of timeless ‘40s world,” complete with authentic clothing, hairstyles and architecture, but combined with a modern sensibility when it comes to addressing matters of representation.
HBO Max hasn’t announced a release date for Batman: Caped Crusader.
What do you think about the producers’ approach to the Batman mythos? Let us know in the comment section below!
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