Before its abrupt cancellation, DC Universe's Swamp Thing reportedly had a three-season plan. DC Universe cancelled Swamp Thing after the first episode aired in spite of overwhelmingly positive reception from both fans and critics. The company refused to give any reasons behind the cancellation, but the decision shook DC fans to the core.
The sudden cancellation of Swamp Thing led to a great deal of speculation about why DC Universe and Warner Bros. would make such a decision. Many believed that it had something to do with the series going over budget and not receiving the promised amount of money in grants from the state of North Carolina, where the series filmed. The first season cost over $80 million to make, and although reports suggested that grants would cover half of that budget, the actual agreement between Swamp Thing and North Carolina was for far less.
Regardless of the reasons behind the cancellation, though, it seemed to come out of left field. Business Insider reports that Swamp Thing had a three-season plan in mind with the concept of going beyond that with spin-offs, including a potential Justice League Dark series. Instead, the first season got cut from 13 episodes down to 10 and then canceled after its first episode aired. No one on the set of Swamp Thing seemed to understand that the production was in trouble, and sets were left up in North Carolina even after the final episode completed filming.
The cancellation was also a complete shock to fans, who took to Twitter with #SaveSwampThing. Many fans are throwing blame around, but it seems that a lot of that blame should shift to WarnerMedia and its upcoming streaming service. Rumors suggest that WarnerMedia has plans on eventually shutting down DC Universe and bringing that programming into its WarnerMedia streaming subscription service when it premieres.
The problem with that idea is WarnerMedia could cost around $17 per month, making it one of the most expensive standalone streaming services on the market. WarnerMedia would include HBO content, as well as all WarnerMedia-related network content, but it sort of goes against the grain of what cord cutters like about streaming services: the ability to pick and choose what content they want. WarnerMedia's model is a lot like the cable model, where consumers have to pay a higher monthly fee for more content, including content they don't want. If DC Universe gets folded into WarnerMedia, will those viewers only interested in DC television shows pay that much to watch?
In the meantime, Swamp Thing will still air all remaining episodes on DC Universe. Executive producer James Wan urged fans to keep watching Swamp Thing because he feels the series deserves at least that much. However, it's hard for viewers to commit to a show they know won't continue after its first season, particularly when it's likely the season finale will end on a cliffhanger. It makes it even more difficult when viewers realize the show had a three-season plan in mind, especially now that two of those seasons are officially scrapped.
New episodes of Swamp Thing season 1 stream Fridays on DC Universe.
Source: Business Insider