Begun, the streaming wars have. WarnerMedia’s HBO Max streaming service today announced its massive lineup of films, television shows, and original content, as well as when it’ll be launching. After its original announcement, people have been waiting with baited breath to see what exactly HBO Max would bring to the table other than big promises, and I think they certainly deliver.
The service will be launching in May 2020, and is priced at $14.99.
HBO Max announced a startlingly-huge list of content so I’ll try and highlight the most interesting bits.
Since DC Comics falls under the WarnerMedia group, some DC content has been anticipated to be announced. Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash) will be involved in two series focusing on DC characters, Green Lantern and Strange Adventures. It isn’t specified which particular Green Lantern will appear, but it’s clear that Adam Strange will be appearing in Strange Adventures. It’s pretty great timing, since a Strange Adventures comic from Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Doc Shaner will be coming out next year. Elizabeth Banks is producing DC Superhero High, which depicts famous DC characters in a high school setting.
Berlanti is also producing Unpregnant, about a college-bound woman named Veronica who deals with an unexpected pregnancy result. Joining Berlanti in this YA-umbrella is Kaley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant, about a woman who wakes up in a hotel room next to a dead stranger.
In other DC news, every live action DC film from the last ten years will be available to stream. This would include films like The Dark Knight trilogy, the recent DCEU offerings like Wonder Woman, and the recent mega-hit Joker. In addition to this, every Superman and Batman film from the past forty years will also be available, assumedly starting with Superman: The Movie all the way to more recent films like Man of Steel. CW DC shows like Batwoman will also be made available. In addition to appearing on the DC Universe streaming service, Doom Patrol will also be on HBO Max.
Apparently, there’s also a whole contingent of rapid fans clamouring for some kind of… Snyder Cut from the folks over at HBO Max? Whatever it is these people are hoping for, I hope they find another hobby.
A whole swath of original shows will also launch throughout 2020. First up is Tokyo Vice, starring Ansel Elgort as an American journalist diving into the criminal underbelly of Tokyo. Anna Kendrick is starring in Love Life, a comedy anthology series she’s co-producing with Paul Feig. Mindy Kaling is writing and showrunning College Girls, which follows a group of freshmen roommates as they deal with growing up. Issa Rae will be producing Rap Sh*t, about the music business in Miami as told through the point of view of three women. Oh, and Gossip Girl is coming back.
It was the shot heard ’round the world earlier this year: Friends would be making its way to HBO Max, and it’s not alone. Shows like South Park, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and The Big Bang Theory are also coming to the streaming service. As for dramas and science fiction, Pretty Little Liars, The O.C., The West Wing, and Doctor Who will also be available.
Max Original movies will also be a part of the service, which include:
- Reese Witherspoon and her Hello Sunshine production company developing their own films.
- Let Them All Talk, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Meryl Streep, Candace Bergin, Dianne West, Lucas Hedges, and Gemma Chan.
- Superintelligence, starring Melissa McCarthy.
- Bobbie Sue, starring Gina Rodriguez as a lawyer who joins a stiff Boston law firm.
HBO Max is also adapting some novels for adaptation:
- Station Eleven from Atlanta co-creator Hiro Murai and showrunner Patrick Somerville (Maniac).
- Made for Love from Alissa Nutting‘s novel, also from Somerville.
- Americanah, created by Danai Gurira and starring Lupita Nyong’o.
- Circe, a fantasy epic about the ancient Greek goddess.
- Raised by Wolves from Ridley Scott.
Do you like Sesame Street? No? Doesn’t matter. HBO Max also announced a new set of Sesame Street content, which will also be watched on PBS Kids.
- Esme + Roy is getting another season.
- An animated spin-off series called Mecha Builders is also debuting.
- A new Sesame Street Special called The Monster at the End of This Story will also be available.
- Elmo has a new talk show, The Not Too Late Show with Elmo.
And lastly, more content for children is also coming to the streaming service:
- Adventure Time is coming to HBO Max.
- Little Ellen, about a seven-year-old Ellen DeGeneres having adventures in her childhood New Orleans home is in development.
- Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Entertainment is developing Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.
- Robert Zemeckis is producing Tooned Out, a Looney Tunes show merging live-action and animation elements ala Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Classic Looney Tunes cartoons are coming, as well as newly-reimagined original shorts.
- A Max Original called The Fungies from Cartoon Network Studios.
- Another Cartoon Network Max Original called Tig N’ Seek.
A whole bunch of reality shows were also announced, and fans of Hayao Miyazaki will rejoice as his animated films will be exclusively available on HBO Max.
As you can see, HBO Max will be taking full advantage of being part of the WarnerMedia empire of film and television content. They’re also bringing their A-game when it comes to original content which is a plus for fans of actors and directors like Steven Soderbergh or Danai Gurira.
I’m curious to see if the price point will end up being a divisive factor for newcomers, especially since Disney+ is priced at the low end with $6.99 for a similarly enormous catalogue. Since HBO itself is also priced at $14.99, only time will tell whether or not this strategy will work.