WarnerMedia has announced the title of their forthcoming streaming service, HBO Max, and with it a slew of new, original series. The first seven original series that have been announced will find a home with other established series from WarnerMedia networks including NBC, HBO, and The CW on the HBO Max service.
HBO Max is WarnerMedia's attempt to make waves in the streaming world. Their streaming service is just one of many which have been announced thus far in 2019 alongside Disney+ and Apple TV+. Each respective service will offer original series in addition to streaming already-aired series from their respective networks and/or studios (with the exception of Apple TV+, for which this is entirely new territory). WarnerMedia's announcement on HBO Max confirmed that previously-aired series like Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air will be featured, as well as series from NBC, HBO, The CW, and many more networks which are part of the WarnerMedia family.
But there's going to be a lot of original series on HBO Max when it launches in 2020 as well. The confirmed series' fall into a variety of genres, from thriller to sci-fi to comedy. This means there will be something for everyone when the service launches. It's unclear what WarnerMedia's plans are for future phases of original programming, considering the strength of brands like The Matrix and Harry Potter, but the exclusives they've already got slated for HBO Max now is quite well-rounded.
Dune: The Sisterhood
A Dune spinoff series titled Dune: The Sisterhood will be coming to HBO Max. The series is based on Frank Herbert's sci-fi novel Dune and adapted from a novel based in the world of Dune from Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson. The series will revolve around the Bene Gesserit, a mystical, mysterious order of women who are united by their powers thanks to the mastery of their bodies and minds. Denis Villeneuve, director of 2020's Dune, will serve as executive producer and direct the pilot episode. No casting information has been confirmed yet.
Ansel Elgort will movie from feature films to streaming TV for the upcoming series Tokyo Vice. The show will be based on Jake Adelstein's non-fiction, first-hand account of working a Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat. Elgort will play a fictional version of Adelstein in the 10-episode series, which Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton has signed on to direct. Both Elgort and Cretton are currently tied up working on other projects: Cretton with Shang-Chi, which is already in production, and Elgort with filming West Side Story. Scheduling for these two will be tight as they work to ready the series for HBO Max's 2020 release date.
The Flight Attendant
The Big Bang Theory alum Kaley Cuoco has set her next big project as she moves from network television to streaming. Through Cuoco's production company, Yes, Norman Productions, comes The Flight Attendant. Cuoco will star and serve as executive producer alongside Greg Berlanti.
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Chris Bohjalian, The Flight Attendant follows titular flight attendant Cassandra Bowden (Cuoco) after she wakes up in a hotel room in Dubai next to a dead body. Cassandra ignores this and returns to work at the airport, flying home to New York City where she is met by FBI agents who have questions about the body.
Anna Kendrick will re-team with A Simple Favor director Paul Feig for a rom-com anthology series currently titled Love Life. Kendrick will star but since this is an anthology series, expect more big casting announcements to emerge in the time leading up to HBO Max's launch. Love Life will be a 10-episode series with each episode running at 30 minutes.
Anthology series are a popular TV format right now. Love Life in a unique entry in that it's one of the rare occasions a TV anthology series isn't rooted in horror or sci-fi. Kendrick and Feig's collaboration in A Simple Favor seemed to pay off, so have them back working together on a new project will undoubtedly yield similarly favorable results.
Station Eleven is one of a few novels being adapted in the first group of HBO Max original shows. Author Emily St. John Mandel's post-apocalyptic story of a mysterious flu-like sickness which sweeps across the United States and the group of nomadic actors and other characters who must survive will be adapted by screenwriter Patrick Somerville (Maniac, The Leftovers). The series will also be directed by Hiro Murai (Atlanta) and will be 10 episodes long. No casting announcements made as of July 2019.
Made for Love
Made for Love is still seemingly in the early phases of production. Adapted from author Alissa Nutting's 2017 novel of the same name, Made For Love follows a young woman, Hazel, who moves in with her dad after escaping the high-tech compound where he ex-boyfriend, tech entrepreneur Byron Gogol, kept her and monitored her every move. Byron is intent on getting her back and Hazel will do anything to evade him. The series will be ten episodes long, each clocking in at half an hour, and directed by S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones, The Defenders). No casting announcements have been made prior to or at the time of the HBO Max original shows news.
News of a Gremlins animated series was going to WarnerMedia's streaming service arrived just days before the HBO Max announcement. The Gremlins prequel will be produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment. The prequel series title will be Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.
The series will be set in 1920's Shanghai and starts with 10-year-old Sam Wing meeting Mogwai Gizmo for the first time. Sam is the younger version of the Gremlins character Grandfather (Keye Luke), the antique shop proprietor and rightful owner of the cute but complicated creature. Sam teams up with a street thief named Elle and together, the trio must journey across the Chinese countryside to reunite Gizmo with his family. The series will be ten episodes long, with a runtime of 30 minutes each. There's no word yet on who will be involved in the cast or who's directing.