It was set to be a big deal. Bruce Timm was returning to animate a Batman ongoing TV show. He was the visual stylist behind the iconic early 90s Batman cartoon. The new show had JJ Abrams and recent The Batman writer-director Matt Reeves on as producers.

Midway through production, HBO Max pulled out. The latest in a series of cost-cutting moves, HBO Max announced that it will no longer go ahead with:

  • Batman: The Caped Crusader
  • Merry Little Batman
  • The Day the Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie
  • Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes Musical
  • Did I Do That to The Holidays: A Steve Urkel Story
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie

The plan is to finish production on these and sell them to other streaming services/networks. Think: Amazon prime Video, Netflix, etc.

What strikes me as interesting here is that they are all movies and specials except for that Batman cartoon, which makes me assume this is part of the ongoing efforts by Warner Bros Discovery to wind back the pricey JJ Abrams deal that has yielded in very few projects actually going to production. Also worth noting that a new Superman cartoon series, announced in the same release as the Batman cartoon is continuing for HBO Max.

Batman: Caped Crusader animated series is the latest casualty of HBO Max cuts
It is one of six projects that will no longer premiere on the streaming service

But it isn't all doom and gloom with shuttered Warner Bros Discovery projects. The company just announced that Matt Reeves will be back to co-write and direct a sequel film to The Batman with Robert Pattinson back starring as the bat guy.

‘The Batman’ Director Matt Reeves Sets Multi-Year First Look Film Deal At Warner Bros. & Re-Ups With Warner Bros Television
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is going all in on The Batman director Matt Reeves and his 6th & Idaho production company. He has become the first filmmaker given an overall first look film deal since W…

Indiewire also has this piece that uses the Batman: Caped Crusader story as a launchpad to discuss why HBO Max seems to be cancelling so much right now.

Why HBO Max Seems to Be Canceling Everything
“Batman: Caped Crusader” is not another “Batgirl,” but it’s another financially motivated decision at a company that desperately needs to make a lot of good ones.

What does a dragon smell like?

House of The Dragon's opening episode opened the door to the question: What does a dragon smell like? Apparently the answer, as per the show, isn't good. But what is that bouquet?

A few suggestions are posited, but I thought a comparison to a komodo dragon is pretty smart:

Their eight foot size is nothing compared to Westeros’s favorite pets, but they’re the closest living animal. So what do Komodo dragons smell like? “Reptiles do not have sweat glands,” says Kim Gray, curator of herpetology & ichthyology at the San Diego Zoo. “They do scent mark, as all monitor lizards can, and are territorial. But we humans, with our relatively poor sense of smell, can’t detect anything really.” Perhaps the Targaryen’s sense of smell zeroes in on subtle dragon scents. Considering their important bonds, this would make sense.
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Makes Us Wonder What a Dragon Smells Like
The biggest mystery of House of the Dragon isn’t who will sit on the Iron Throne. It’s what people smell like after they’ve been riding a dragon.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm officially has the greenlight for its 12th season. This is really a formality, but it means Larry David is working on it. Read: Variety
  • Halloween Ends will debut on Peacock and in cinemas on the same day. Oct 14. Read: Next TV
  • What really happened to fitness icon Richard Simmons? Apparently he just retired. Read: TV Insider
  • Gary Gaines, the inspiration for the coach in Friday Night Lights, has died. Read: THR
  • US afternoon TV is starting to resemble the style of news-entertainment programming we find here on TV in the afternoons in Australia. (ie cheap to produce studio-based 'news' programming. Read: Variety
  • My love of Ken Leung has been strong for 20+ years. This is the first lengthy feature I have seen about him in that time. It's a good read about the former Lost, current Industry star. Read: The Ringer
  • Paul Rudd is joining the cast of Only Murders in The Building. Read: Variety

Modern Family creator Steve Levitan is back with new Hulu comedy Reboot. It debuts Sept 20.

Celebrity Jeopardy! starts Sept 25 on the US ABC network and Hulu.

Apparently Avatar will return to streaming on Disney+ ahead of the release of Avatar: The Way of Water. It was only removed for the re-release of the film in cinemas. For which... a trailer:

That's it for today. Tomorrow: more newsletter.