DC Universe shows are heading to HBO Max…now what?
DC fans were left a bit confused this past week when it was revealed DC Comics and DC Universe were going through some big changes. Many top-level execs were given pink slips (along with 20 percent of its staff), with their final days coming this November. In the midst of all this, it was hard not to speculate the future of the brand. Personally, I had my eyes set specifically on DC Universe. This service that was once touted as the go-to place for all things DC never quite gained momentum. In the past year or so, it’s felt like it had already been left out to die by its parent company.
It certainly didn’t help that HBO Max hit not too long ago. Personally, I thought that was the death bell for the service then and there. But they didn’t quite commit. Some DC movies were left out of HBO Max, and some shows, like Harley Quinn, remained DC Universe exclusives. So, were they just struggling to keep the fledgling service relevant?
While I don’t know the answer to that question, the fact that the majority of the DC Universe staff was let go seemed indicative of a huge wave of change on the way. But what kind of change? In a recent interview with THR, DC publisher Jim Lee confirmed that HBO Max would be inheriting DC Universe’s original shows.
“The original content that is on DCU is migrating to HBO Max. Truthfully, that’s the best platform for that content. The amount of content you get, not just DC , but generally from WarnerMedia, is huge and it’s the best value proposition, if I’m allowed to use that marketing term. We feel that is the place for that.”
Okay, so that covers the streaming stuff. But what about the service itself. Will it stick around? And in what form?
“In regards to the community and experience that DCU created, and all the backlist content, something like 20.000 to 25,000 different titles, and the way it connected with fans 24-7, there is always going to be a need for that. So we’re excited to transform it and we’ll have more news on what that will look like. It’s definitely not going away.”
Earlier this week, I spoke with our resident DC expert Manny Gomez. He’s been hearing rumblings of his own from firsthand sources, and from what he can tell, DC Universe was never intended to be a full-on streaming service. Regardless of how it was advertised, it was meant to be a full-on hub for all things DC, especially comics.
With that in mind, I can’t help but think that it will still be a blend of fan community and digital comics in some form or another. As far as the layoffs, it sounded like they were temporary — until they could find a direction for the service. Whether or not they actually find a direction though…that remains to be seen.
For more information, I recommend checking out Manny’s recent DC Weekly column!
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