DC Universe's live-action Swamp Thing TV show shuts down production early, cutting off season 1 at 10 episodes instead of the previously ordered 13. Prior to the launch of DC Universe last fall, Swamp Thing was put into development as one of the streaming service's original series. It joined a slate of live-action TV shows created for DC Universe that also includes Titans and Doom Patrol as well as the still upcoming Stargirl. Swamp Thing adapts a DC Comics property to live-action for a dramatic take on the titular character created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.
The Swamp Thing TV show started filming in late 2018 and was expected to wrap in May. Len Wiseman directed the Swamp Thing pilot and remained on board the series as an executive producer, alongside fellow producers James Wan (Aquaman), Gary Dauberman (The Nun) and Michael Clear (The Curse of La Llorona). Mark Verheiden (Daredevil, Constantine) serves as the series' showrunner. Swamp Thing stars Andy Bean as Alec Holland and Derek Mears as Swamp Thing along with Crystal Reed as Abby Arcane. However, it appears the first season of Swamp Thing will be shorter than previously expected.
Local North Carolina newspaper Wilmington Star News reports production on Swamp Thing season 1 was shut down before it was previously expected, with the season order being reduced from 13 episodes to 10. According to the report, local crew members were told the series will wrap production on episode 10 before stopping to allow the writers time to rewrite the ending. Further, several days of reshoots are expected to still take place. Screen Rant has reached out to DC Universe for comment. UPDATE: The Wrap reports the change in episode count was due to "creative decisions" according to a source with knowledge of the production.
The news of Swamp Thing production shutting down was seemingly confirmed by actress Virginia Madsen - who plays Maria Sunderland on the series - on Instagram Wednesday morning, who wrote, "I'm beyond sad. What a terrible decision. We have been cut to the core by those who have never set foot into the Swamp. And despite the rule I am going to use the hashtag. #swampthing." The post was deleted shortly after. See a screenshot below.
As of now, it's unclear why Swamp Thing production shut down. Wilmington Star News purports it's part of a larger issue as the DC Universe streaming service evaluates its future, but that seems to be largely speculation - either from the publication itself or its sources close to the Swamp Thing production. As of recently, DC Universe appeared to have plenty of confidence in Swamp Thing, announcing the season 1 premiere date as May 31 at WonderCon 2019.
Further, it's uncertain what will become of Swamp Thing now that DC Universe has cut down the show's first season order by three episodes. It's not a good sign, to be sure, and may spell the end of the series before it even begins. However, it may be the case that Swamp Thing will receive further episodes in a second season. After all, Titans season 1 turned its original finale into the season 2 premiere, so perhaps Swamp Thing will have a chance to tell the rest of the story the show's creatives originally intended in future episodes. For now, fans will have to wait and see what becomes of Swamp Thing, and they'll get to see the show for themselves when it launches late next month.
Swamp Thing season 1 premieres Friday May 31st on DC Universe.
Source: Wilmington Star News
Update Source: The Wrap