UPDATE: Warner Brothers representatives want to shoot down any talk about the DC Universe streaming service being in danger. Full story here.
Original story below:
Actor Virginia Madsen confirmed that production on ‘Swamp Thing’, which had been filming in Wilmington, NC, has shut down, as Warner Brothers ponders the future of the DC Universe streaming service. In an Instagram post that was quickly deleted, Madsen wrote:
“I’m beyond sad. What a terrible decision. We have been cut to the core by those who have never set foot into the Swamp. And despite the rule I am going to use the hashtag. #swampthing.”
The first season of ‘Swamp Thing’ was supposed to consist of 13 episodes and was to continue filming into May. The first episode was due to be released on DC Universe on May 31. According to crew members, the episode count has been cut down to ten.
‘Swamp Thing’ would have been the third original live-action series offered by the fledgling streaming service, and the fourth series overall. ‘Titans’ launched last fall, followed by the animated ‘Young Justice: Outsiders’ part one, and ‘Doom Patrol’ which is releasing now.
The DC Universe streaming service may be in trouble. Those interested have always been able to try the service for one week for free, but in addition to that, DC Universe has offered everyone the chance to watch the first episodes of ‘Titans’, ‘Young Justice: Outsiders’, and ‘Doom Patrol’ for free without signing up, and then it offered the entire service for free for 24 hours. It has steadily offered more and more extras for subscribers including the entire DC digital comics library and original animated movies on the same day as they are released on DVD/Blu-Ray, all in an effort to drum up interest.
But this news arrives less than a week after Disney announced that its highly-anticipated Disney+ service will be available for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. DC Universe currently costs $7.99 a month and $74.99 a year, considerably more for only a tiny fraction of the content that will be available on Disney+.
Add to that the fact that Disney+ is offering high-profile originals like ‘The Mandalorian’, a series that reportedly had a $100 million budget, plus shows based on the Marvel film universe, like ‘Falcon & Winter Soldier’. The DC Universe shows are not connected to WB’s film franchise, nor are they tethered to other existing shows, like the Arrowverse on The CW. So far, while ‘Titans’ and ‘Doom Patrol’ have gotten a positive reception overall, neither has broken out as a must-see.
As for back catalog, Disney+ will offer over 600 TV episodes and nearly every existing Disney movie and TV show, encompassing all things ‘Star Wars’, Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic, and properties acquired from 20th Century Fox, like ‘The Simpsons’. On the flip side, DC Universe doesn’t even offer every DC-related property. The CW’s popular Arrowverse shows are not available on DC Universe, and stream exclusively on Netflix. ‘Smallville’ is only available on Hulu. The 1960s ‘Batman’ series is on Amazon Prime Video.
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On top of everything, DC’s parent company Warner Brothers is going to launch ANOTHER streaming service, WarnerMedia and is expected to announce more details in the wake of the Disney+ press conference. Disney+ will become the only streaming source for ‘The Simpsons’ when it launches, and it is believed that WarnerMedia will likewise become the only place fans will be able to find ‘Friends’, ‘Seinfeld’, ‘The Office’, and ‘The Big Bang Theory’, all shows that have done extremely well for outside streaming services. Late last year, Netflix had to pay $100 million to WB to keep ‘Friends’ for one more year after its contract had expired and fans reacted angrily.
DC Universe already has the second season of ‘Titans’, another live-action series ‘Stargirl’, and the animated ‘Harley Quinn’ in the works. It’s unclear now if those will see the light of day, should Warner Brothers opt to shut DC Universe down or absorb it into WarnerMedia.
What do you think? Do you subscribe to DC Universe? How will you feel if Warner Brothers shuts it down?
(5:21 pm Article updated to include Virginia Madsen’s Instagram post)
Source: Star News