DC Universe’s original content — a list that includes Titans, Swamp Thing, Stargirl, and Young Justice — is heading to HBO Max, according to DC chief creative officer and publisher Jim Lee in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. The news comes as WarnerMedia is in the process of a larger reorganization at DC Comics, which was also hit by a wave of layoffs this week.
The writing has been on the wall for DC Universe (at least in its current form) ever since HBO Max launched. Fragmenting content from one of WarnerMedia’s strongest brands across two streaming services and expecting that fans would be willing to shell out both $14.99 a month for HBO Max and $7.99 a month for DC Universe was never a realistic strategy.
There were also signs that the end was near: two of DC Universe’s most popular shows (Doom Patrol and the animated Harley Quinn) are already available on HBO Max. The highly anticipated Snyder Cut of Justice League was announced as an HBO Max exclusive. And when WarnerMedia announced a new spinoff series from Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman, it was for HBO Max, not the DC-focused service.
It also makes sense: all of that original and back catalog content that’s currently offered on DC Universe will still be just as exclusive to WarnerMedia on HBO Max, and it could help further incentivize customers to sign up for the service. It’s not clear yet when the upcoming changes for DC Universe will occur, however.
Lee notes that DC Universe will likely stick around in some capacity for its comics catalog and community, if not for DC films and TV shows. “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,” noted Lee. “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.”