HBO Max Shrinks DC Universe Again
HBO Max has canceled the DC-based TV shows Titans and Doom Patrol. Both shows will wrap after four seasons of storytelling. The decision came from up top, and was in place before the current DC Studio heads were in place, though of course, the “super educated” denizens of the Internet are sure that this is another heartless move by James Gunn to destroy their way of life.
DC properties on TV and the movies have been all over the map and changed directions repeatedly with different studio heads canceling projects left and right over the years. The situation was only made more complicated when Warner Media was merged with Discovery Networks putting a new man (David Zaslav) in charge of the properties with a penchant for cost-cutting. It turns out that the cancellation of the two properties was his decision.
Whether the decision was made as part of a planned rebrand on Gunn’s part or not, the move does allow DC’s live-action properties to come into a more uniform direction which fits with Zaslav’s desire to build his own version of the MCU. Without competing versions of popular heroes on CW, HBO Max, and the big screen it will be easier to tell stories without fans asking, is this related to that? Is that related to this? Marvel has not had that problem on nearly the same level as DC even though, unlike Marvel, Warner Media has had the rights to DC’s numerous characters the entire time VS Marvel’s mishmash of rights holders issues that left the emerging MCU to start off its existence without Spider-Man (movie rights owned by Sony), and The X-Men and The Fantastic Four (Owned by Fox) along with their related characters.
By coming to agreements with Sony and merging 20th Century Fox with Disney the company essentially solved its character use issues while deciding to simply ignore variations on its characters developed for other media while adopting popular ones and dropping them right into place in the MCU like the Netflix version of Daredevil and Kingpin. DC on the other hand has had multiple versions of Batman and related characters strewn all over the TV and movie landscape including Ben Aflec’s Batman in the DCU, a young Bruce Wayne as seen on Fox’s Gotham, the standalone Joker played by Joaquin Phoenix, Robert Pattinson’s (The Batman) and a Batman and Knightwing (original Robin, Dick Grayson) as seen in Titans, am I forgetting anything. This goes along with the now-solved Superman problem which saw Henry Cavil as Superman in movies and Tyler Hoechlin as Superman in “Superman And Lois”. Side note expect to hear that Superman and Lois will be canceled sometime soon.
Whether fans are angry or think that Warner Brothers Discovery/DC is going in the wrong direction with its characters or not, this seems to be the studio’s best bet for building a marketable property with the tone and history that Gunn says he has laid out behind the scenes.
Let the criticism continue.