James Wan doesn’t “really know or understand” why the series he produced for DC Universe, ‘Swamp Thing’ was canceled last week after just one episode was released. He took to Instagram to share his thoughts:
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Don’t really know or understand why #Swampthing was cancelled, but I can tell you this — all the cast and crew, and producing/writing team poured their hearts into this. Really proud of everyone’s hard work. Go watch episode 2, and immortalize these 10 episodes. Swampy deserves it.
No specific reason was given for why the show was canceled so abruptly, although that followed the first season being cut from 13 to 10 episodes during its production. This alteration was credited to “creative differences.”
There have been financial reasons mentioned, with tax credits from the state of North Carolina, being one potential issue, although a representative from the state’s Film Office, Guy Gasser has stated (via Deadline) that the numbers being reported don’t add up. It is stated that WB expected to get a $40M tax credit, when Gasser states that a single TV season production can only receive a maximum of $12M in credit and that $40M actually exceeds the states entire annual budget of $31M for ALL productions filmed in the state. (‘Swamp Thing’ would have received a separate credit for the pilot episode, which is considered a separate production, but it would have been much less than $12M– somewhere in the single digits.)
Now that AT&T owns Warner Brothers, it is planning to launch a new streaming service later this year under the new WarnerMedia banner. Though nothing has been officially declared, it is widely believed that DC Universe’s days are numbered, and productions like ‘Titans’, ‘Doom Patrol’, and the upcoming ‘Stargirl’ will wind up being folded into that larger program. As it stands, DC Universe costs $7.99 a month, cheaper than most other big streaming services… but more expensive than the upcoming Disney+ , which will cost $6.99 and will feature probably hundreds of times the content, including original offerings from ‘Star Wars’, Marvel Studios, Pixar and more, not to mention a more extensive and desirable back catalog.
While it is believed that the WarnerMedia service will be much more expensive, $16-$17 a month, it is expected to include quite a lot of programming, including such properties as ‘Friends’, ‘Seinfeld’, and ‘The Big Bang Theory’ which are already hugely popular on existing services. (Netflix paid $100 million to keep ‘Friends’ for only one year!)
So for now, it remains a mystery as to why ‘Swamp Thing’ was axed. It has great reviews– 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. So far two episodes have been released, and as Wan urges fans, enjoy them and the eight more remaining. This is unfortunately not a case where another outlet can salvage this series, as ‘Swamp Thing’ was made in-house by WB.
Are you a fan of the first few episodes of ‘Swamp Thing’?