News broke late Tuesday night — that is still developing — concerning DC Universe’s emerging Swamp Thing show. A month and a half ahead of its May 31 premiere, the original episode order of 13 was, out of nowhere, reduced to ten, effectively halting production.
StarNews, who has been following the story closely, reported everyone still in the middle of production down in Wilmington, NC, where they film at Screen Gems’ studio, was taken off guard.
Virginia Madsen, who plays Maria Sunderland, wrote she was “beyond sad” on Instagram, adding what she thought of the decision that came from on high — DC’s parent company, WarnerMedia:
“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.”
Madsen deleted the post moments after she made it.
At first, sources were saying there was some question as to the viability of the DC Universe platform. Warner Media is launching its own streaming service to compete with Disney+, so that might have something to do with it.
They don’t release a subscriber count and speculation claimed the service didn’t have much of a future. The fact 12,000 comics were added to DC Universe’s catalog over the last two weeks proves that notion unlikely.
What’s more, Business Insider reports DC Universe is leading in positive consumer sentiment that places a high demand on original programming like Titans and Doom Patrol. With a rollout for Xbox, the service is only showing signs of expansion.
The culprit for the early wrap appears to be creative differences. No specifics surfaced beyond that, but Warner doesn’t have a problem with the show’s quality, apparently.
Wilmington’s Mayor Bill Saffo is abreast of the situation and was offered that consolation by the studio. Saffo and those hard at work on Swamp Thing thought it would mean jobs for the community and a chance of roots setting for a run of multiple seasons. Saffo said to StarNews:
“We were all caught off guard. No one was aware this was happening.”
The May 31st debut is still a go at this time and a new teaser was just released.
Swamp Thing stars Andy Bean as Alec Holland and Derek Mears as Holland’s tragic monster form, but will center around Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed). It is produced by Mark Verheiden, Len Wiseman, and James Wan’s Atomic Monster.