HBO Max launched in May 2020 with plans to stand toe-to-toe with streaming giants such as Netflix and Disney+. With an expansive catalog of TV and cinematic favorites and a host of original titles on the docket, the streamer had a little something for everyone to enjoy, just like HBO, the television channel it spun off from. For a time, it kept subscribers coming in and sticking around, but by the summer of 2022, folks couldn’t help but worry about the platform. A handful of odd decisions from the higher-ups at Warner Bros. Discovery led to these mounting concerns.
Following the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc., some worrisome things started to happen at HBO Max. First and foremost, the upcoming DC Comics-based title “Batgirl” wound up canned, despite the fact that it was nearing completion. The Leslie Grace-led film would’ve been released on the streaming service and featured a showdown between the titular heroine and the villainous Firefly (Brendan Fraser). Then, out of the blue, a handful of HBO Max exclusive productions suddenly vanished from its library, further concerning subscribers.
As HBO and HBO Max embark on a new chapter under the Warner Bros. Discovery banner, CEO David Zaslav has confirmed that contrary to popular belief, their original content offerings aren’t in danger of disappearing.
During an investor call on August 4, 2022, David Zaslav did his best to quell fears over HBO and HBO Max’s futures in the Warner Bros. Discovery era. “Quality is what matters. Quality is what [HBO and HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys] and that team is delivering. It’s the best team in the business. We’re doubling down on that HBO team,” he said, going on to explain that Bloys and those around him will continue to deliver quality film and television projects on both fronts. “Our strategy is to embrace and support and then drive the incredible success that HBO Max is having,” Zaslav added (via Deadline).
Be that as it may, there’s still some uncertainty when it comes to the future of HBO Max. As revealed during the same investor call, plans are in place to merge HBO Max with Discovery+ – a move set to begin in summer 2023 in the United States, with other regions to follow in the ensuing months. This will pool their content libraries into one massive catalog for subscribers to enjoy under one still-unnamed new streaming service. At the time of this writing, price plans are unknown, though that’s something that Zaslav and his colleagues are in the process of getting sorted.
Change is indeed on the way for HBO and HBO Max, but it’s a relief to know that neither is in danger of losing out on original projects going forward.