In the current streaming wars, every major studio, network, or company is doing its best to come up with the most attractive (and affordable) subscription service, and WarnerMedia is no exception - with plans to add HBO Max to its subscription options. In October 2018, WarnerMedia announced its plans to launch an “over-the-top streaming service” with content from its different brands, such as HBO and The CW.
The service was officially announced in July 2019 and its name was revealed to be HBO Max. Although it was initially projected to launch in late 2019, HBO Max will now launch in 2020 and is already gaining a lot of attention for securing the streaming rights to some of the most popular and beloved TV shows. Just like other streaming services, HBO Max will also include original content, such as an animated Gremlins series and the revival of Gossip Girl.
Here’s everything you need to know about HBO Max, from how much it will cost to all the content announced so far.
What HBO Max Will Cost
WarnerMedia hasn’t revealed how much it will cost to subscribe to HBO Max, but did share that it will cost “slightly more” than HBO Now, which is $14.99 a month. With that in mind, HBO Max is said to be between $16 and $20, with some reports claiming it will be somewhere between $16 and $17. Given all the movies and TV shows (both originals and previously released) it will include, it’s a reasonable price, but compared to other subscription services, it might be an obstacle in WarnerMedia’s way.
While not all of HBO Max’s biggest competitors offer the same amount of content (and definitely not the same titles), they have lower prices that might end up being more appealing. Netflix’s basic plan is $8.99 a month, the standard plan is $12.99/month, and the premium plan is $15.99/month. Amazon Prime Video costs $12.99 per month or $119 per year, Hulu is $5.99/month with ads and $11.99 if you want to live an ad-free life, and CBS All Access is also $5.99/month with ads and $9.99/month ad-free. However, the biggest threat of all streaming platforms is coming in November 2019: Disney+. The Mouse House’s subscription service will cost $6.99 a month or $69.99 for an annual subscription, and once it’s up and running, and it will be the one to beat.
When HBO Max Will Launch In North America
As previously mentioned, the initial plan for HBO Max was to launch in late 2019, but WarnerMedia changed the date to spring 2020 – however, a specific date hasn’t been announced yet. A beta service is expected to launch by the end of 2019, so an official launch date should be announced soon.
When HBO Max Will Launch Internationally
Unlike Netflix, which is available in most countries, or Disney+, which announced its plans to launch internationally between 2020 and 2021, there are no plans for HBO Max to expand to other countries. However, given the popularity of many of the titles in its catalogue, it’s unlikely that WarnerMedia won’t look into exploring international availability - though it will take some time.
Original Movies Coming To HBO Max
Although HBO Max will offer four young-adult movies from producer Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, Riverdale), and two others from Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine, WarnerMedia has only announced two original movies so far: Let Them All Talk and UNpregnant. Let Them All Talk is a comedy directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Meryl Streep and Gemma Chan. The story centers around an author who goes on a trip with her friends and nephew to have some fun while also coming to terms with her past. Details on UNpregnant are still unknown, but the movie will be directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg.
Original TV Shows Coming To HBO Max
HBO Max’s original series will be branded “Max Originals,” and so far they include a bit of everything: animated series, science fiction, reality shows, comedies, and more. Some of these upcoming series are revivals, re-imaginings, or second seasons of series that can currently be found in other places. Many of these will appeal to users’ nostalgia, which can prompt many to subscribe to the platform. Here are the original TV shows you will find on HBO Max:
- Americanah - a drama series starring Lupita Nyong’o, which follows a Nigerian woman who moves to the U.S.
- The Boondocks - a revival of the 2005 series, based on Aaron McGruder’s comic strip (and with McGruder serving as showrunner).
- Circe - a limited series based on the novel of the same name by Madeline Miller. It centers around the Greek mythological god Circe.
- Doom Patrol - the series’ second season will premiere on both DC Universe and HBO Max.
- Drama Queen - a dramedy by Bad Robot Productions.
- Dune: The Sisterhood - a ten-part series based on Frank Herbert’s novel Dune. It will follow the Bene Gesserit group.
- Extreme Camp - a reality TV children’s program.
- The Flight Attendant - based on the novel of the same name by Chris Bohjalian and starring Kaley Cuoco as a flight attendant who wakes up in a hotel room in Dubai next a dead body.
- Generation - drama series.
- Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai - an animated series that will serve as prequel to the 1984 movie Gremlins.
- Looney Tunes Cartoons - the successor to New Looney Tunes, this animated series will feature beloved Looney Tunes characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Marvin the Martian, Porky Pig, and more.
- Love Life - a comedy anthology starring Anna Kendrick.
- Made for Love - based on Alissa Nutting’s novel of the same name, it follows a woman trying to get away from her obsessive ex-boyfriend, who kept her monitored and now wants to force her to link with him via brain chips.
- Station Eleven - based on the novel by Emily St. John Mandel, it’s a post-apocalyptic story about a mysterious sickness and a group of survivors.
- Tokyo Vice - based on the memoir by Jake Aldestein of his years living in Tokyo and working as the first non-Japanese reporter for the newspaper Yomiuri Shinbun. Ansel Elgort will play a fictionalized version of Aldestein.
- Gossip Girl - a sequel/revival of The CW’s teen drama series.
HBO Max will also add some HBO originals that have been announced for 2020 and 2021:
- The Outsider - based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name and starring Ben Mendelsohn.
- Lovecraft Country - a horror series executive produced by Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams.
- The Nevers - Joss Whedon’s new sci-fi series, starring Laura Donnelly.
- The Gilded Age - set in the opulent world of 1885 New York.
- Avenue 5 - a satire set on a space-bound cruise, starring Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad.
- The Undoing - a psychological thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant.
- The Plot Against America - a reimagined history based on Philip Roth’s novel and starring Winona Ryder and John Tuturro.
- Perry Mason - the well-known legal drama, executive produced by Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey, starring Matthew Rhys.
- I Know This Much Is True - a family drama starring Mark Ruffalo as twin brothers. Based on the novel by Wally Lamb.
Existing Movies & TV Shows On HBO Max
This might be the most attractive part of HBO Max: its catalogue of existing movies and TV shows. When WarnerMedia officially announced the service’s name, it also revealed it had acquired the exclusive rights to one of the biggest, most beloved sitcoms in history: Friends. As such, Friends is expected to leave Netflix in 2020 to move to its new home. HBO Max will also have the entire runs of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Pretty Little Liars, and The Big Bang Theory, along with the 11 seasons of the Doctor Who revival (with the upcoming season 12 available after its cable TV run).
The service will also have all new dramas produced for The CW network, and even though they haven’t been officially announced as part of it, content from HBO (such as Game of Thrones), Cinemax, DC Entertainment, TNT, Cartoon Network, and more are expected to be included at some point. Here are the confirmed titles you will find on HBO Max:
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
- Pretty Little Liars
- The Big Bang Theory
- Katy Keene (Riverdale spinoff)
- Doctor Who
- The Honorable Woman
- Top Gear
- The Office (UK)