James Gunn wants the DCU to be a strictly connected franchise across film, television, animation, and even video games. But before doing that, he has to ensure that audiences don’t get confused by the myriad of DC shows currently streaming on HBO Max and airing on the CW. After all, questions about which shows are connected to or not to the DC Universe will inevitably arise. Thankfully, he has one less show to worry about because Warner Bros. Discovery has passed “Dead Boy Detectives” on to Netflix.
HBO Max Sends ‘Dead Boy Detectives’ To Netflix
As per The Hollywood Reporter, the “Dead Boy Detectives” series from Greg Berlanti, the Arrowverse producer, has been sent to Netflix. The outlet reports that WBD’s streaming service HBO Max has reportedly passed on the show because it doesn’t fit James Gunn and Peter Safran’s, the DC Studios CEO’s, vision for the DCU. Reportedly, the show was also shopped to Netflix because it wasn’t possible to air it before 2024.
After all, by that year, James Gunn’s DCU will start picking up steam with the “Creature Commandos” releasing and the Viola Davis-led “Waller” show probably not far behind. As such, having a show like “Dead Boy Detectives,” which is sort of a spin-off of “Doom Patrol,” that has now been canceled, will spell disaster for the franchise looking to get a new lease on life. It’s assumed that the show wasn’t outright canceled because “Dead Boy Detectives” began filming on November 7, 2022. So about a week passed before Gunn and Safran officially became CEOs of DC Studios.
As such, production on the show would likely have been too far along by the time the two CEOs ironed out the restructuring and reboot plans for the DC universe. That’s probably why the show escaped cancellation. But other shows like “Strange Adventures” and “Green Lantern,” which were also in development at Berlanti, haven’t been so lucky and have come under the axe.
But “Dead Boy Detectives” going to Netflix probably means a brighter future for it. After all, it will have a fresh lease of life there instead of getting abruptly canceled if it doesn’t fit into the plans of the DC Studios CEOs. Also, the two DC bosses won’t have to worry about fitting it into their plans or explaining how it exists as a part of their “Elseworlds” label. So it looks like a win-win situation for all.
James Gunn Is Cleaning The House
Since James Gunn and Peter Safran assumed power, plenty of DC shows have been made redundant. However, he isn’t responsible for pulling the plug on already-running shows. HBO Max’s “Titans” and “Doom Patrol” were canceled in January 2023, and when Gunn was asked if he was the one cleaning house, he denied it and stated that the decision was made before him. In some cases, he has just been lucky. The long-running CW show “The Flash” is currently airing its final season, so the DC Studios boss won’t have to be worried about that as well.
However, he will still have to plan out the futures of other stragglers who are representative of the previous Warner Bros. regimes that greenlit them. There’s the “Gotham Knights” show that will air on the CW in March, the currently running “Superman and Lois” show, and the wacky “Harley Quinn” animated show. During the slate release, Gunn was asked about his opinion on the shows left at HBO Max.
He decided not to comment on “Gotham Knights,” but he praised “Superman and Lois” and said that everyone loves it, so they will keep it going for a couple more seasons. This probably means that the series will be axed right before Gunn’s DCU Superman takes flight in “Superman: Legacy.” As for the animated “Harley Quinn” series, he wasn’t specifically asked about it. As such, there’s no way to know for how long it will survive.
Overall, by the time “Superman: Legacy” releases in theaters and officially kickstarts the DCU, HBO Max will probably be the home of shows that are connected to James Gunn’s universe. There’s also speculation that shows belonging to the “Elseworlds” label will find their homes on other streaming services apart from HBO Max. The first hint of that is probably the fact that WBD is looking for streamers to take the Batman animated show “Caped Crusader.”
As for whether “Sell the Snyderverse to Netflix” will happen, that seems highly unlikely. After all, Gunn is looking to reboot and start afresh with a streamlined franchise. Having two versions of some of DC’s major characters on a rival streaming service will hurt that vision. So now, it remains to be seen what DC shows (apart from the ones announced by Gunn) end up on HBO Max as part of the “Elseworlds” label or the DCU.
“Superman: Legacy” will soar into theaters on July 11, 2025.