We have a new streaming service making a debut come May 2020. HBO Max is ready to offer a lot of back catalog content as well as original shows to get a bigger slice of the streaming-money pie. Will you be subscribing to it?
A lot of details were shared during the recent HBO Max presentation. The streaming service, wanting to give people a reason to pay, has already made huge catalog acquisitions. WarnerMedia announced that the service will have Rick & Morty, South Park, Friends, and The West Wing. It will also include Dr. Who.
The upcoming service is basically AT&T, HBO, and WarnerMedia joining forces. I wonder how Disney+ and Netflix feel about it. Apple TV+ (getting ready to launch next month) is kind of a non-factor for many people right now. I don’t think Apple TV+ can fight with the big ones yet.
The expected launch date for HBO Max is currently May 2020 with the subscription costing you $14.99 per month. There are plans for an ad-supported subscription and shifting the HBO Now subscribers over to Max at no additional cost.
DC Comics movies will be part of this service. So, there are already talks about how the DC Universe streaming service will cease to exist.
Greg Berlanti will be bringing DC Comics stuff including a Green Lantern show. He’s also tied to Strange Adventures. Interestingly, there are rumors that if Green Lantern does well, it might cross over to the live-action films.
Berlanti’s Arrowverse content will be available on Netflix. So, it will take some time for HBO Max to get them. You’ll need to wait for The CW’s existing deals with Netflix to end.
Furthermore, DC Super Hero High will be executive produced by Elizabeth Banks. It will a new take on the DC Super Hero Girls franchise.
Along with back catalogs of iconic cartoons, the Looney Toons fans can look forward to a revival. Apparently, the characters will be living in a town called Jellystone and we will get to see them interact with each other.
Robert Zemeckis will executive produce the live-action/animated hybrid Tooned Out about a boy who sees classic cartoons around him.
Adventure Time will continue as four one-hour “Distant Lands” specials. The Boondocks is back, too. The second season of Gen:Lock will be on HBO Max.
Other returning franchises include Grease (as a new series named Rydell High), an animated Gremlins series, and Practical Magic with a prequel series titled Rules of Magic.
Sesame Street will expand with The Not Too Late Show with Elmo. And Gossip Girl will be returning as XOXO Gossip Girl.
Netflix has shown that star power gets people to subscribe or at least sign-up for a free trial. HBO Max is following suit.
- Kaley Cuoco, of The Big Bang Theory fame, will star in The Flight Attendant.
- Ellen DeGeneres has a couple of shows she’ll be working on including the competitive Ellen’s Home Design, a new dating series called First Dates Hotel, and an animated series based on Ellen’s younger years titled Little Ellen.
- Lena Dunham will produce Generation. It’s about a group of high school students whose exploration of sexuality challenges their conservative community.
- Ansel Elgort will star in Tokyo Vice which is based on the memoir of the same name.
- Danai Gurira’s Americanah, starring Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o, will be on HBO Max, too. It’s about a young Nigerian woman who emigrates to the United States to attend college while telling the story of her life back home as well.
- Mindy Kaling will give us 13-episodes long College Girls.
- Anna Kendrick will share her struggles with love in Love Life.
- Nicole Kidman will executive produce Crime Farm. It’s a drama featuring forensic homicide experts who are also a couple.
- Melissa McCarthy will star in Superintelligence.
- Conan O’Brien will be curating five comedy specials.
- Issa Rae will offer Rap Sh*t. It’s a half-hour comedy series about an aspiring group of female rappers outside of Miami.
- Gina Rodriguez will star in Bobbie Sue.
- Ray Romano joins Cristin Milioti in Made for Love.
- Ridley Scott’s Raised by Wolves project will shift from TNT to HBO Max. The sci-fi story will be about two androids tasked with raising a human on a new planet.
- Meryl Streep will star in Let Them All Talk (a Steven Soderberg film).
- Reese Witherspoon has a two-year contract through her Hello Sunshine brand.
Other content includes:
- Anna K is a modernized Anna Karenina.
- Circe is an eight-part adaptation of Madeline Miller’s novel about the iconic goddess from Homer’s The Odyssey by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.
- Dune: The Sisterhood is a series that will focus on the political machinations of the women of The Imperium as they prepare to deal with the central desert planet Arrakis.
- Starstruck features comedian Rose Matafeo trying to figure out life in London, and after having just slept with a massive movie star.
- Station Eleven is about the aftermath of a swine flu epidemic.
- Studio Ghibli films!
- UNpregnant (based on the novel of the same name) features a pregnant teen wanting an abortion.
Of course, the mic drop moment came with the announcement of House of the Dragon live-action series. You know people will surely subscribe to the service for more Game of Thrones franchise content.
Also, from what I was able to gather, HBO Max won’t be dropping entire series at once like Netflix. I’m not a fan of weekly releases for direct-to-streaming content. But I do understand the business model behind it.
The service will also make some interesting changes to user profiles and how recommendations work.
It is kind of surprising there wasn’t any news about HBO Max having exclusive Harry Potter-centric content. I would be here for a series about the founders of Hogwarts or one about Albus and Grindelwald going on adventures as teens and experiencing an angsty queer romance.
I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to the climax of the streaming war in 2020. Who will reign supreme? Can Netflix continue being the streaming juggernaut? Do you think at some point such services would need to make themselves be available as bundles similar to cable packages?
We’ll find out soon enough.
Anyway, feel free to share your thoughts about HBO Max with us.
Will you be subscribing to the service?
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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