James Gunn will reboot the DCU. This is the speculation that’s running rampant in the DC subreddits. Fans have taken Dwayne Johnson’s farewell, Henry Cavill’s departure, Gal Gadot’s speculated departure, and “Wonder Woman 3” getting shelved as an indication of the same. Now, the recent news is that HBO Max has canceled two highly watched DC shows, “Titans” and “Doom Patrol.” This news has seemingly lit the fires of reboot speculation again, with many theorizing that this is just James Gunn and Peter Safran, the two DC Studios CEOs, cleaning house for their new slate of projects that will kickstart a new era for DC. But is this theory correct? Let us examine that.
HBO Max Cancels ‘Titans’ And ‘Doom Patrol’
Variety has reported that HBO Max has canceled the DC superhero shows “Doom Patrol” and “Titans.” Both shows will end with their fourth seasons, and apparently, the showrunners knew that it would be the end. As a result, they planned the endings with that knowledge. Both shows will have 12 episodes in their final seasons, which will be split into two airing segments consisting of six episodes each. The showrunner of “Titans,” Greg Walker, thanked his cast and crew in a statement for their dedication to bringing the show to life. He also credited the producers and mentioned that there are still six episodes left to air. He then assured fans that their beloved characters would get creative closure.
Nick Copus, “Titans” director, has clarified that Part 2 of the last season will be released sometime during April. As for “Doom Patrol,” showrunner and executive producer Jeremy Carver thanked his producers, cast, and crew for bringing the show to life. We don’t know when “Doom Patrol” will return to finish off its remaining six episodes for the last season.
Is James Gunn Responsible For The Cancellations?
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) has said that even though the cancellations have come after Peter Safran and James Gunn assumed responsibilities at DC Studios as CEOs, they cannot be blamed for this. As per the sources at THR, the decision to cancel both shows was made even before they took charge. Also, James Gunn himself has clarified the same in a tweet. When a fan tweeted to him about canceling the two DC superhero shows and commented that it would be an uphill battle for him to win over the fans, the director responded by saying that he wasn’t involved in the cancellation decision. But he said that he wished the creators, crew, and cast of the two shows the best.
Furthermore, a critic named Andy Behbakht tweeted at James Gunn, asking him whether he would have incorporated the two now-canceled shows into his DCU plans if they hadn’t been axed. To this, Gunn replied that what characters and actors they are going to keep are within his and Safran’s jurisdiction. However, he clarified that this doesn’t mean that he can keep any TV show going indefinitely.
Why Were ‘Titans’ And ‘Doom Patrol’ Canceled?
The Hollywood Reporter thinks that since HBO Max will be integrated soon with Discovery+, the platform has been canceling shows that don’t fit the brand’s overall vision. Also, the streamer needs to save about $3 billion. This makes the cancellations understandable. Also, this isn’t the first time HBO and Warner Bros. Discovery’s (WBD) money troubles have been reported.
The company famously canceled “Batgirl” and “Scoob: A Holiday Haunt,” two almost-completed feature films, to get tax write-offs. Also, the company has axed shows like “Westworld,” “The Nevers,” “Stargirl,” and more to save costs. This has created a lot of animosity for the brand, which was once the home of prestige content. Many feel that the once-respected company is being sold for parts now. Others joke that fans of HBO’s content should be prepared to see cheap reality shows akin to the “90 Day Fiancé” franchise that airs on TLC, a channel now under WBD.
However, WBD isn’t scrapping everything. “House of the Dragon” drew stellar ratings and never-before-seen viewership numbers in HBO history. As a result, it got renewed for a second season almost immediately after its premiere. Fans of the new “The Last of Us” adaptation think that their show could go the same way since it has been breaking viewership records with just two episodes aired till now.
Also, money troubles aren’t plaguing WBD alone. The biggest streamer, Netflix, has also come under fire for canceling well-received shows. As of now, no one knows when this bloodbath will end. But for DC, it’s clear that the franchise has a bright future ahead with James Gunn and Peter Safran at the helm. Gunn will soon release the names of some projects he is planning to develop. So, DC fans can be rest assured that their beloved characters won’t languish. Although new actors will probably portray them in their upcoming live-action iterations. But which DC projects will they be in? James Gunn will announce some of them before the end of January. So, stay tuned.