Batman debuted in comic books in May 1939 and his young crimefighting assistant, Robin, appeared a year later. The dynamic duo starred in movie serials in the 1940s and were brought to the small screen in 1966’s live-action Batman TV show, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. After that, the Batman characters became a fixture of TV animation and have appeared in a dozen incarnations.
It looked like another Batman-related series was headed for primetime on the CW but the plans have now been cancelled. The Graysons was planned to be similar to Smallville and would center around young “DJ” Grayson in the days before his partnership with Batman. The CW network was said to be eyeing Graysons as either a replacement for Smallville or as a companion series.
Jeff Robinov, the Warner Bros. president, initially gave the okay for the project but, in the past few days, has apparently changed his mind. The studio is said to be rethinking its big picture plan for DC Comics-related projects and doesn’t want to move forward with a live-action project featuring a major character until plans are ironed out.
In a statement, Warner Bros. said, “The studio has opted not to go forward with the development of The Graysons at this time as the concept doesn’t fit the current strategy for the Batman franchise.”
Though the Graysons series wouldn’t directly relate to the current line of Batman movies, Variety says the cancellation may be due in part to the studio not wanting to risk the TV show negatively impacting the successful films. Some have suggested that the poor box office performance of Superman Returns came in part as a result of the Smallville series being prominent on television.
The studio notes that Warner Bros. Television is currently working on several replacement options for the CW. A pilot for a young Aquaman series, Mercy Reef, was made in 2006 but didn’t receive a series greenlight. If Smallville ends after eight seasons, some have suggested that a Green Arrow spin-off series could be tapped to replace it. Stay tuned!