Why Swamp Thing Season 2 Isn't Happening: Cancellation Explained

Swamp Thing will not be seeing a second season, but the reasons why remain as mysterious as the wetlands of Marais, Louisiana. Fans of the DC Universe series have been demanding answers since the show was unceremoniously canceled, but no formal reason has been given for why the show was abruptly brought to a close after having its episode order cut from 13 hour-long episodes to 10.

Based upon the legendary horror comics published by DC Comics, Swamp Thing was poised to be a revolutionary television series. With a budget and production values for its first season that rivaled many movies and an intricate swamp set that cost $2 million on its own, it was clear that producer James Wan was taking every bit of care possible in bringing the classic comics to life. Yet despite the first episode earning high praise from fans and a 92% fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, Swamp Thing was canceled with only 1 of its 10 episodes aired.

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With the series' finale now having aired, fans are left with nothing but questions. Why was the show cancelled before it had a chance to develop a following and earn a second season? And what might they have seen had the show gone on?

Why Swamp Thing Season 2 Isn't Happening

Swamp Thing DC Universe

Despite having been canceled for several months, no official reason has been given for why Warner Bros. chose to cancel Swamp Thing. It has been confirmed that it had nothing to do with funding issues relating to grants from the state of North Carolina not paying out. It has also been established that it had nothing to do with the series content being too strange or the entire DC Universe streaming service being shut down and its content being moved to HBO Max, as Doom Patrol was recently renewed for a second season and is planned to air on both services.

While, for the moment, the reasons behind Swamp Thing's cancellation remain as unknown as the secrets of The Green, the fact that the elaborate and expensive $2 million water set build for the show's production has already been dismantled means starting from scratch, and a set that was supposed to allow for a lower budget in season 2 and 3 would now be a cause of greater spending to rebuild it if they did decide to continue the story.

What Swamp Thing Season 2's Story Would Have Been

While the precise details are sketchy, it has been confirmed that there was a three-year plan for Swamp Thing before it was cancelled. The show was reportedly intended to sprout several spin-offs, including a Justice League Dark series featuring several magically-empowered heroes from the darker side of DC Comics. Swamp Thing took several steps in this direction in the episodes which aired, introducing the character of the Phantom Stranger as well as the psychic Madame Xanadu.

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The first of these spin-offs would have centered around the superhero Blue Devil and starred Ian Zerling in the title role. Zerling made a number of guest appearances as actor Dan Cassidy, who played a superhero called the Blue Devil in a movie and unwittingly made a Faustian bargain to become the hero he played. The penultimate episode of Swamp Thing, "The Anatomy Lesson," saw Cassidy finally embracing his heroic destiny and transforming into a fiery blue demon to save Dr. Abby Arcane and Liz Tremayne from Avery Sunderland's goons.

Beyond that, it seems likely that that Swamp Thing would have continued to investigate the secrets contained within the bogs outside Marais and the rising darkness that Swamp Thing sensed within it. The show would also have continued exploring the weird romance between Abby Arcane and the Swamp Thing, eventually ending in true romance as in the comics. There may even have been a team-up between the Swamp Thing and his frienemy John Constantine, but perhaps we may see that in an upcoming Legends of Tomorrow?

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