HBO Max Latin America has unveiled a new take on the Dark Knight in the upcoming animation feature “Batman Azteca: Choque de Imperios” (“Aztec Batman: Clash of Empires”) in the first ever collaboration between Warner Bros. Animation, Particular Crowd, Mexico’s Anima and “Book of Life” producer Chatrone. The new project was announced Monday night at a cocktail event held at the 37th Guadalajara Int’l Film Festival (FICG).
The original, Spanish-language animated film places the iconic DC superhero against the backdrop of Aztec Mexico and immerses viewers in the enigmatic culture of Mesoamerica.
The tale centers on a young Aztec boy, Yohualli Coatl, whose father, village leader Toltecatzin, is murdered by Spanish Conquistadors. Coatl flees to Tenochtitlan to warn King Moctezuma and his high priest, Yoka, of looming danger. “Using the temple of Tzinacan, the bat god, as a lair, Yohualli trains with his mentor and assistant, Acatzin, developing equipment and weaponry to confront the Spaniard invasion, protect Moctezuma’s temple, and avenge his father’s death,” the synopsis reads.
Juan Meza-León (“Harley Quinn”) directs the feature, while Anima’s José C. García de Letona and Fernando De Fuentes serve as producers alongside Chatrone’s Aaron D. Berger and Carina Schulze.
The animation pic will be produced entirely in Mexico and showcase top local talent and the region’s extraordinary ancient culture.
Sam Register and Tomás Yankelevich serve as executive producers. Alejandro Díaz Barriga, an expert on Mesoamerican studies and the ethnic history of Mexico and the Andean region, will work closely with the creative team to make certain that the indigenous representation portrayed in the film is appropriate and relevant.
The feature dovetails with HBO Max Latin America’s mandate to produce locally-relevant projects for the region. Since its launch in June 2021, the SVOD service has already grabbed the second leading spot after Netflix in Latin America. In an interview with Variety last May, HBO Max Latin America general manager, Luis Duran, detailed plans to produce 50-70 HBO Max originals in the region by 2023.