The Swamp Thing TV series from DC Universe has reportedly suspended production in order to shorten the series from its planned 13 episodes to ten. That would bring it roughly into line with the first season of Titans, which ran for 11 episodes, although Doom Patrol is currently enjoying a 13-episode run. The biggest difference with Swamp Thing is that the decision has apparently been made late in the game, leading to a shortened season and a rewritten ending. Rumors out of North Carolina, where the series is filmed, suggested early on that DC Universe itself may be getting re-examined in light of WarnerMedia's looming streaming service, but that seems to be inaccurate.
Anything focusing heavily on DC Universe itself would be an odd explanation, considering that Titans just began production on its second season. A story at The Hollywood Reporter suggests that the abbreviated season came about at least in part due to creative differences between the creative staff and Warner Bros. Such a disagreement might also explain a caustic (and quickly-deleted) Instagram post from series actress Virginia Madsen, in which she alluded to a “terrible decision” and said that the cast and crew had been “cut to the core by those who have never set foot into the Swamp.” Star News Online used her comments as confirmation of reports they were already hearing from local industry insiders.
As of now, there is no indication that Swamp Thing will not premiere on May 31 as originally planned (indeed, the THR story indicates it will). The Star News story says that there will be necessary reshoots on the last few episodes in order to accommodate the shortened season and reworked ending, which sounds like a potential obstacle -- although a shortened season could in fact make less work for the post-production staff and make it easier, rather than harder, to hit deadlines. According to Star News, crew members were notified of the changes on Tuesday night, and it is not yet clear when the reworked finale will shoot.
Concerns about the future of DC Universe may be as simple as a lot of conjecture: as THR notes in their story, WB's planned streaming service, set to debut in the fourth quarter of 2019, and fans and pundits have been wondering for a while how it will coexist with DC Universe. The DC Universe app has branded itself as a fan experience, supporting chat, merchandise, and comics -- things that make it an ideal destination for hardcore fans and are unlikely to be recreated in a WB app. DC is a major component of Warner Bros.' larger appeal and the question of how the studio would deal with two streaming services both vying for original DC content is one that has been out there for quite a while, but the answer may be as simple as "both will get something," considering that DC is not exactly pulling the plug on their numerous projects with The CW, SYFY, and other production and exhibition partners.
ComicBook.com has reached out to DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. So far we have not received any comment; both DC Universe and Warner Bros. reportedly declined to comment for the THR story. If there is any new information to add, we will do so when it becomes available.
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