Is HBO Max the New DC Universe?

Is HBO Max the New DC Universe?

Remember when The DC Universe was supposed to stand nose-to-nose with Disney Plus? Both have movies. Both have legacy. Both have … well, no, only one has subscribers.

Source: Warner Bros./DC

Within weeks of launch, the DC Universe featured its original programming that included Doom Patrol, Titans, Harley Quinn, and Swamp Thing by horror ingenue and Aquaman director James Wan.

It’s the last original that has fans upset (again) at the DC Comics / Warner Bros tandem. The show was cancelled after one week of programming.

Fans loved it. Critics raved about it. And Warner Media cancelled it?! Business Insider spoke to set producers on condition of anonymity, “Cancellation came as a surprise, 100%,” a producer on the series said. “It came out of left field.” Rumors are set funding in North Carolina was “confusing,” which led to the immediate axing of a potentially stellar series.

As fans began pouring some out for The DC Universe, here comes HBO Max!

Pull the Plug

At one time, the DC Universe was considered “the ultimate DC membership.” Regretfully, the only ultimate thing this streamer will ever be is ultimately not profitable. Despite lack of faith in the hapless content distributor, Doom Patrol brought on a swath of geckaphiles and Titans has been doing well with its adult version of the “teen” cartoon.

What two original series are supposed to be broadcast on HBO Max? Yeah, too bad. Things aren’t looking good for the DC Universe, so why can’t HBO Max just give the streamer a gentle reach-around and yank that plug right out of the wall?

Even HBO Max’s Chief Content Officer and recent darling of the entertainment media, Kevin Reilly, is being slightly tight-lipped about the app’s future.

“We’re working out what those mechanics are,” Reilly said. “We have to figure out those two subscriptions, and we haven’t worked out the mechanics of what that’s going to look like.”

kevin reilly via the hollywood reporter

In other words, “I haven’t been given the authority to say we are killing the app but by taking away its top programming, we’re pretty sure people are taking the hint.” Oh, that sound you hear? That’s another app and DC offering biting the dust and swirling down the toilet bowl drain.

Across the HBO or dc universe

Credit: I don’t know. There are little journalistic ethics in nerd blogs. Sorry.

We all know the foreseeable future of the ham-handed DC Comics app, the only question is When? HBO Max has already promised some big-budget TV series, such as the much anticipated Justice League Dark by J.J. Abrams. There is also talks of Green Lantern becoming an HBO Max weekly go-to from Greg Berlanti. And then, there’s that small indie production known as “Snyder Cut” by relatively unknown Zachary Snyder.

Travis Clark of Business Insider had a revealing article. In it, he quoted someone who works at Warner Bros. Digital Labs, which is a unit that has direct responsibility to the organizational streaming services. And this quote is enlightening:

“Most of the people who I’d worked with were confused about what HBO Max means for DC Universe. It seems like DC Universe is emphasizing its comics and nobody really seems to know where video falls into that.”

Another anonymous dc shill

How can the DC Universe possibly stand up to that kind of pressure?! Admittedly, it was a nice idea. There was some nice content that could possibly compete with Disney Plus, Netflix, or Hulu’s slight nerd offerings. Without a firm dedication from the studio, this app had no chance to succeed. It seems the DC Universe app was launched as a stop-gap between mediocrity and HBO Max.

“But hey, we have comics.” Please. Not even the most staunch DC acolyte will fake like that statement. The soft indigo glow of HBO Max is calling and believe me, they’re all listening. Whatever the case, the days for DCU app is numbered. And I think the magic number is six or seven.

Either way, I hear “Taps” blowing in the Metropolis and Gotham City wind. Softly.


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