Holy diversity, Batman! Gotham just got a whole lot more inclusive, thanks to the new Cartoon Network preschool series Batwheels.
Described as an animated action-adventure comedy about “sentient super-powered crime-fighting vehicles,” Batwheels has recruited Academy Award-nominated actor Ethan Hawke to voice Batman and AJ Hudson (who played young Chidi on The Good Place) as the voice of Duke Thomas. He’s the first Black character to don the Robin “R” in DC Comics history.
Batwheels, a Cartoonito offering that will be available on HBO Max as well as Cartoon Network, marks Duke’s on-screen debut. The voice cast also includes Cobra Kai‘s Jacob Bertrand as Bam the Batmobile and Station 19‘s Leah Lewis as Cassandra Cain, aka Batgirl. Lewis is voicing the first Asian American Batgirl, who was also initially introduced in the comics.
Hawke’s Batman is listed in the logline as a father figure and Gotham City’s greatest protector, who doesn’t communicate directly with Bam and the other Batwheels. Duke/Robin is described as someone who strives to prove himself and loves a great detective mystery, and Cassandra/Batgirl is the tech-savvy, big-sister type who loves to whip around Gotham on her motorcycle.
Warner Bros. Animation produces Batwheels, which doesn’t have a premiere date yet and will be announcing additional cast and characters in the near future. Sam Register (Looney Tunes Cartoons) will executive-produce the animated series, while Michael G. Stern (Doc McStuffins) serves as co-executive producer.