For the past two years, DC Comics has been pushing its own streaming service, DC Universe, filled with comics, legacy shows, and the occasional new series like Doom Patrol and Harley Quinn. While some of their original fare has been treated less favorably to others (RIP Swamp Thing), at least the majority of original content produced by DC Universe has been pretty good all things considered. However, with the rise of HBO Max and several of their key shows releasing simultaneously on both platforms, the writing was on the wall for some time. Now we’re starting to see the first steps in DC’s parent company WarnerMedia shut things down at the fledgling streaming service.
On Monday, WarnerMedia had a massive string of layoffs at DC Comics, effectively cutting one-third of their executive staff. Among those axed were Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras and Senior Story Editor Brian Cunningham, while COO Jim Lee still retains his position. The two departments hit most were DC Direct, the company’s merchandising arm, and of course, DC Universe. Allegedly the streaming service is working as a skeleton crew, most likely until the complete transition to HBO Max occurs.
As always, condolences to those who lost their jobs from this. It’s never a good thing when a person is laid off, but it’s made especially worse during a global pandemic where unemployment is at an all-time high. As for DC Universe, while it technically isn’t dead yet, it most likely isn’t going to last through the end of the year. It’s debatable whether it will make it to the end of the month actually. Out of the few vestiges of their original content, only Titans and Young Justice are renewed for a third and fourth season respectively at DC Universe, though those can easily be moved to HBO Max. As for their other original content, Stargirl has been picked up by The CW, and Doom Patrol is now an HBO Max coproduction.
With DC’s Fandome event scheduled for August 22, which will feature panels and guests from a variety of DC shows, movies, and properties, maybe we’ll get more of an answer then as to what’s happening after the layoffs. As of right now, it looks like we have our first victim in the streaming wars.
Source: Hollywood Reporter