During a talk at the Content London event, Warner Bros. Television Studios’ Chairman Channing Dungey revealed that the company is close to finalizing a major DC animation deal with Amazon. Upon announcing that a half dozen toon projects were being cut from the upcoming HBO Max lineup, WBTV had intimated it was seeking new broadcast/streaming homes, and Dungey reiterated that intention:
“With animation we used to be about staying in-house but now we are doing it on different platforms … HBO Max is the first stop but we are in the process of closing a big deal with Amazon featuring DC branded content in animation.”
The titles cut in that August announcement included two set in the world of DC’s Batman: Batman: Caped Crusader, a reboot series from Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series), J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves (The Batman); and the family-targeted action-comedy special Merry Little Batman, executive produced and directed by Mike Roth (Regular Show) from a screenplay by Morgan Evans (Earth to Ned), which had been slated for HBO Max/Cartoon Network’s ACME Night block.
While Dungey did not elaborate on the deal, it’s possible Bat-fans could catch these upcoming titles on Prime Video soon. Perhaps they will be joined by Aquaman: King of Atlantis, which was among a slew of kids & family toon removed from the HBO Max catalog this summer. This playful event series — voice starring Cooper Andrews and exec produced by Victor Courtright, Marly Halpern-Graser (showrunners) and filmmaker James Wan — is currently available to rent or buy on Prime Video in its re-cut movie version, and on other platforms.
The DC animation deal with Amazon offers a small silver lining, although Dungey and other industry leaders are forewarning more production cost cuts from Content London. Studios are also keeping an eye on a possible writers’ strike, and how this year’s deepened alliance between The Animation Guild and the WGA may impact negotiations.