Warner Bros. Discovery is reportedly shopping “Batman: Caped Crusader” after it shelved a slew of animated projects amid steep cost-cutting at the company.
Media giants like Netflix, Apple and Hulu are looking to scoop up the Bruce Timm and JJ Abrams-directed flick, which draws inspiration from DC Comic’s Batman franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Entertainment site the Direct floated Disney as a possible bidder, too.
Warner Bros. Discovery, Disney, Apple, Netflix and Hulu did not return requests for comment.
Warner Bros. Discovery recently yanked six animated projects that were earmarked for its streaming service HBO Max, including “Did I Do That to the Holidays: A Steve Urkel Story,” an animated “Family Matters” spinoff; two “Looney Tunes” features, and the high-profile “Caped Crusader.”
Originally, the “Caped Crusader” was slated to air on Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max and Cartoon Network, but that was before Discovery and WarnerMedia merged this year and CEO David Zaslav promised to cut $3 billion by 2024.
As part of its plan to reduce costs, the company will unload projects to rivals, a strategy that has been part of its playbook for some time. In the past, Warner Bros. sold many shows it made, including “Friends” and “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” which aired on NBC. It also made “Two and a Half Men” and “Big Bang Theory” for CBS, and “The O.C.” for Fox.
Zaslav has been making news in recent weeks for his swift cost-slashing. The CEO, who is known for his operating chops, axed over 36 projects. While it is not clear how many projects will be shopped around, the exec drew criticism over his decision to cut “Batgirl,” the DC Comics-inspired movie starring Leslie Grace.
The $90 million film, which was set to hit theaters and HBO Max, was canceled, meaning it will never be seen. Recently, Zaslav said he didn’t “believe in the film” and that it was not expected to do well at the box office. The decision to pull it was made so the company could take a tax write-off, according to reports.