Ethan Hawke has been cast as the voice of Batman in Batwheels, an upcoming animated series coming to HBO Max’s preschool programming block and Cartoon Network. Aimed at pre-school-aged audiences, the new series follows anthropomorphized Bat-vehicles that fight crime alongside the Caped Crusader. The series joins the likes of DC Super Hero Girls as DC entertainment aimed at younger audiences.
Batwheels follows “Bam,” a sentient version of Batman’s iconic vehicle created by the Bat-computer alongside Bibi (The Bat-cycle), Redbird (Robin’s sports car), the Batwing, and Buff (The Bat-truck) to form a team known as the Batwheels. Together, alongside some familiar faces such as Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and other heroes from DC’s pantheon, the team will take a stand and fight crime amongst the streets of Gotham. The series was announced in October 2020, and today, WarnerMedia has revealed who shall be taking on the mantle of the Dark Knight.
As reported by Deadline via Comicbook.com, DC’s iconic hero will be voiced by Moon Knight actor Ethan Hawke. Revealed during a virtual event, Hawke will be joined by AJ Hudson as Robin/Duke Thomas, and Leah Lewis as Batgirl/Cassandra Cain, with Cobra-Kai‘s Jacob Bertrand voicing the lead role of Bam. The cast listing was released alongside an official synopsis which can be read below:
“They are a team of incredible crimefighters who have banded together to oppose evil, combat crime and clean up the streets of Gotham City. They are…okay, they’re NOT Batman and Robin. They’re the Batwheels – an awesome group of sentient super-powered crime-fighting vehicles defending Gotham City alongside Batman, Robin, Batgirl and a host of DC Super Heroes.
Having just been created by the Batcomputer, our heroes are essentially kids with little to no life experience. Led by Bam (The Batmobile), the Batwheels – Bibi (The Batgirl Cycle), Redbird (Robin’s Sports Car), The Batwing and Buff (The Bat Truck) – must navigate the growing pains of being a ne, ly formed super team as well as the growing pains that come with just being a kid. This relatable and aspirational series will follow the journey of this dynamic team as they thrill and entertain with their heroic adventures as well as demonstrate to kids the value of self-confidence, friendship and teamwork.”
Though Batman features in the series, the hero will play more of a supporting role to Bam and the rest of the Batwheels, who will take up much of the focus. As revealed by a character breakdown, Batman acts as a father figure to the Batwheels, with the team seeking the hero’s approval and trust in their fight against crime. Though no release date has been given, the series will launch on WarnerMedia’s preschool programming block, Cartoonito, set to arrive on HBO Max and Cartoon Network.
Hawke is the latest actor to voice the caped crusader following Jeffrey Wright, who will voice the hero in an audio series, as well as Anson Mount, Jensen Ackles and, of course, Kevin Conroy’s iconic performance in Batman: The Animated Series. Hawke is a good fit for the role, as the actor has many years of experience under his belt and is familiar with more paternal roles such as his characters in The Purge and Sinister. As such, he is a good choice to take on the more fatherly figure incarnation of the Dark Knight that is set to appear in Batwheels.