George Chrysostomou on HBO Max and whether it spells doom DC Universe…
The launch of HBO Max has been heavily talked about after the recent unveiling to the press. The conference that Warner Bros. held for the streaming service told us all a lot about the sort of content that HBO Max will feature – and some of the premium content we can look forward to is related to the DC Universe.
With a Green Lantern series and more announced for HBO Max, as well as a full slate of DC Films heading to the service, this raises questions about the future of DC projects on all platforms. While HBO is enjoying success with the recent Watchmen TV series and The CW is continuing to expand the Arrowverse the recently announced spinoffs Green Arrow and the Canaries and Superman & Lois, there’s a big question that no one seems to be asking: What’s going to happen to the DC Universe streaming service?
Has It Been A Success?
The DC Universe streaming service has been a mixed bag. It’s fair to say that only really loyal DC fans would sign up to the network. Although the addition of the comics is a bonus for any DC fan, there was not actually as much content on there as promised.
The original series that featured have been really beloved however. Titans and Doom Patrol look like their the crown jewels of the service. Swamp Thing got brilliant reviews, although it’s been cancelled for some reason. There’s other projects in the pipeline but it looks like the real selling point of the service is the original content.
Unfortunately for DC Universe, HBO Max is getting some of the programming that it should have had. Shows like Watchmen will find their home there and the movies will make their way to Max too. That would make many fans question the point of having a separate service.
Will It Expand?
DC Universe is really very focused on the US. There hasn’t been an international launch in comparison to something like Netflix. This is not that unusual as perhaps Warner Bros. has some ideas for future releases. Some of the original programmes like Titans have made their way to Netflix in other countries.
Sky in the UK, which has just recently launched a deal with HBO, also has access to the Arrowverse and Watchmen. It’s surprising that they haven’t been given Batwoman yet although that is likely to be announced pretty soon based on this new deal. It’s looking like DC Universe may never be launched internationally because of the existing deals in place for much of the programming.
Will It Get Cancelled?
If DC Universe continues to struggle in the way that it is, there’s every chance that big changes are going to made. Unfortunately that could mean that DC Universe will get cancelled. Because of things like Comixology, the digital comics aspect of the platform won’t be lost. It also wouldn’t be such a huge setback for Warner Bros. since the platform only had a limited release anyway.
Where Will DC Content End Up?
This is the exciting bit though. If DC Universe dpes collapse, all of its content could end up absorbed by HBO Max. It’s not hard to imagine that much like Disney+ has different sections, there could be an entire DC-related section on the streaming service.
This could finally offer a place where all DC content is together. That also allows for other major crossover opportunities. There’s lots of little universes that crossover, whether it’s on the film universe, the Arrowverse, or the crossover between Titans and Doom Patrol. Finally putting everything in one place could make it a lot easier for these multiple Earths to collide.
There’s also an option here for a platform to always be available if another spin-off show is in the works. There’s quite a few exciting opportunities for niche content to be made therefore, but to still guarantee it a much larger audience. Something like Booster Gold might not work on HBO or even the CW but it could be absolutely perfect for HBO Max.
Is This Good Or Bad News?
So ultimately, is this big change a good or bad thing? It’s clear that WarnerMedia wants to make DC a big priority for HBO Max or it wouldn’t have been mentioned so heavily in the big press reveal. That’s a pretty good thing for fans as long as they don’t lose some of the great content they already have. Folding DC Universe into HBO Max is a smart move and would stop people from having to buy multiple subscriptions.
If we get great comic book series from it then there’s not much to complain about! Everyone is pretty excited about the prospect of a Green Lantern show and it’s said that the budget is going to bigger than any other DC show to date. Because the service can actually put some cash behind these kinds of series, we can expect to get premium content featuring some of DC’s most iconic characters.
Sure this may limit where you can watch DC films and series in the future. It’s not likely they will pop up on Netflix again, and if you’re in the UK you might be alright with Sky, but there’s no telling how this could affect the international market. It also depends if Warner Bros. want to run something like HBO Max worldwide.
For now, it’s absolutely the time to speculate though. Green Lantern could just be the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come. We’ve got so many upcoming DC series anyway, including Stargirl, but that doesn’t mean that more isn’t welcome!
What do you think? Is HBO Max going to finish off the DC Universe streaming service? Are we going to get even more great DC content? Let us know in the comments below, or on social media @flickeringmyth…