Since the shocking and sudden cancellation of DC Universe‘s ‘Swamp Thing’ a lot of information– and a lot of misinformation– has floated to the surface of this quagmire, but now that a week or so has gone by things have become a little less murky. Warner Brothers has been tight-lipped, as has DC Universe itself, although the latter has stressed that the streaming service isn’t in danger. But there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes, with AT&T buying out Warner Brothers and all of its properties. Along those lines…
The shepherds of DC Universe are gone – The three executives who were in place when DC Universe was created and launched– Kevin Tsujihara, Diane Nelson and Craig Hunegs– are no longer with the company.
North Carolina tax credits had nothing to do with ‘Swamp Thing’s cancellation – North Carolina gave ‘Swamp Thing’ a $5 million tax break for the pilot alone, and $12 million for the remaining nine episodes– the agreed upon amount. Said North Carolina Film Office director Guy Gaster:
“We are as disheartened as others are to learn of the cancellation as the series did provide job opportunities in our state for our highly skilled film workforce.”
Higher-ups simply thought ‘Swamp Thing’ was a dud – The Hollywood Reporter compares the decision to axe this series to FOX’s similar decision to scrap their extremely ambitious series ‘Hieroglyph’, a lavish series that the network expected to be its ‘Game of Thrones’. ‘Hieroglyph’ was ordered straight to series, and FOX invested millions in it, but after execs saw the pilot, the entire show as scrapped. The millions spent were written off, under the assumption that the studio was saving millions more by not producing what they thought would be a failure.
WB execs were already unimpressed with ‘Swamp Thing’, which is why the production was cut from 13 episodes to ten. Rather than lose all of the money it had already spent on the series, it was decided that the filmed episodes would be completed and used to bolster the back catalog of DC offerings. That makes it sound like the show was technically canceled before it even aired, despite reports to the contrary.
Ironically, ‘Swamp Thing’ has gotten great reviews– 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. Psh, executives.
RELATED: DC Universe Officially States That The Streaming Service Is Doing Fine Despite The Cancellation Of ‘Swamp Thing’
Warner Bros. didn’t want to spend millions to store the sets between seasons – Perhaps the stupidest bit of information to emerge is that the news of cancellation came after WB balked at paying millions to store the sets for the series in North Carolina between seasons. That may also be part of why there was a conflict between the production and the North Carolina Film Office, not over taxes but over this storage fee.
For the time being, the new episodes of ‘Swamp Thing’ will premier each Friday and will remain available to stream for the foreseeable future. Stay tuned for news about the fate of DC Universe as it emerges.