The DC TV universe still has a future on HBO Max after Warner Bros. Discovery's cost-cutting measures axed Max movies Batgirl and Wonder Twins. Post-merger CEO David Zaslav announced a DC course correction during Warner Bros. Discovery's Q2 earnings report earlier in August, confirming Batgirl was scrapped despite Warner Bros. sinking some $90 million into the straight-to-streaming movie. As the merged company focuses on producing big-budget, "high-quality" DC Comics adaptations for theaters — including the upcoming Black Adam and The Flash — a new report reveals the DC shows still moving forward as Zaslav looks to shave off $3 billion in cuts.
According to Deadline, the DC series "moving along" include Season 2 of Peacemaker, the hit Suicide Squad spinoff created by director James Gunn; the Penguin spinoff series starring Colin Farrell that is set within the world of Matt Reeves' The Batman movie; and Green Lantern Corps, the new series from Greg Berlanti, the prolific producer who oversaw The CW's Arrowverse.
The report adds Sarah Aubrey, HBO Max's Head of Original Content, will stay on as a development executive overseeing Max Original dramas and will focus on "big, largely IP-based tentpoles" for the streamer. That includes the previously announced Dune spinoff series and Welcome to Derry, HBO Max's fast-tracked IT prequel series set within the supernatural world of Stephen King's Derry, Maine.
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There's no word about animated Max originals Young Justice or adult animated series Harley Quinn, but the creators behind the latter "feel pretty good" and "very hopeful" the mature-rated series will return for a fourth season.
"Quality is what matters. Quality is what Casey [Bloys, HBO Max Chief Content Officer] and that team is delivering. It's the best team in the business. We're doubling down on that HBO team," Zaslav assured investors during WBD's earnings call. "They're all committed under contract and we're going to spend dramatically more this year and next year than we spent last year in the year before."
Season 2 of Peacemaker, starring John Cena as violent vigilante Christopher Smith, will begin production in 2023 with Gunn writing and directing all episodes. Reeves' Batman limited series, tentatively titled The Penguin, is on track for an early 2023 shooting start.