DC Universe Streaming Service Future Potentially Uncertain With HBO Max

Warner Bros.' newest streaming service, HBO Max, might threaten the future of its other platform, DC Universe, as both offer DC content.

DC Universe Streaming Service Future Potentially Uncertain With HBO Max

The impending arrival of HBO Max might threaten the existence of fellow Warner Bros. streaming service DC Universe. Billed as the ideal service for DC fans, DC Universe launched in 2018 with a handful of original shows, plus a massive catalog of comics. DC Universe found success with shows like Titans and the animated series Harley Quinn, but hasn't been without its stumbles.  was canceled only days after its premiere, to the surprise and displeasure of fans. Beyond the aforementioned shows, DC Universe has only produced two others so far: Doom Patrol and Young Justice: Outsiders, with Stargirl on the way.

Meanwhile, HBO Max's launch is fast approaching, with the date set for May 27. As the latest service to enter the very competitive streaming wars, HBO Max boasts a library chock full of Warner Bros. and HBO staples, from DCEU and Lord of the Rings films to Game of Thrones. One of its biggest selling points is all ten seasons of Friends, as well as the delayed-but-still-coming reunion with its cast. Like all streaming services these days, it'll also include original programming, including  and Green Lantern.

Related: Everything Available At Launch On HBO Max

HBO Max certainly has much to offer, which might negatively impact DC Universe. A new report from Business Insider indicates DC Universe's future is uncertain over at Warner Bros. because, according to a former Warner Digital Labs employee, "Everything is about HBO Max now." Another former employee elaborated by saying, "Most of the people who I'd worked with were confused about what HBO Max means for DC Universe. It seems like DC Universe is emphasizing its comics and nobody really seems to know where video falls into that." As of right now, "The feeling in the office is that DC Universe is going to be around for at least another year or two. They want to keep it around but they want to keep it small."

The real concern seems to be whether DC Universe has enough to offer on its own to justify its existence. The research director at Ampere Analysis, Richard Cooper, explained, "A lot of its content doesn't have an exclusive feel, which niche services need to secure long-term subscribers. Lots of services have superhero content. We're not going to run out any time soon and it will be bigger budgets and more exclusivity compared to what DC Universe will be able to provide." This certainly seems to spell trouble for DC Universe, especially as HBO Max proudly advertises its own DC content. In some cases, there will even be overlap, as in the case of the second season of Doom Patrol, which will debut on both platforms.

Having original DC shows on both DC Universe and HBO Max might divide fans who are eager to watch all of the available content, but are unwilling to pay for two different subscriptions. With the number of streaming services currently available for audiences growing what feels like every day, it comes down to which platforms are deemed absolutely necessary. It's unlikely many people would happily pay for extra services they don't need, and smaller ones like DC Universe might see themselves get cut. As of right now, Warner Bros. hasn't officially commented on DC Universe's future (or lack thereof), so there might be no real cause for concern. Perhaps it will be decided when HBO Max launches and Warner Bros. gets a better idea of how well it is performing.

More: DC Universe's Streaming Service Future Is Unclear

Source: Business Insider

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Westworld Season 3 Avoided Game of Thrones Season 8's Mistake

Westworld's Dolores shares a similar journey to that of Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones - but with a much more hopeful and heroic conclusion.

Westworld Season 3 Avoided Game of Thrones Season 8's Mistake

Warning: SPOILERS for Westworld's season 3 finale.

season 3 concluded with Dolores sacrificing herself to liberate rather than destroy humanity - successfully avoiding a mistake made by season 8. Game of Thrones debuted on HBO back in 2011 to moderate acclaim and buzz from audiences, but the show became an outright cultural phenomenon by the time its eighth and final season aired. Despite including some truly impactful moments - such as the amazingly choreographed destruction of King's Landing - ended with an underwhelming whimper as far as many were concerned. Some fans even went as far as to sign a petition begging HBO to remake Game of Thrones season 8 without creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

One of the main issues that fans had with the final season was the decision to turn Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) into the final villain of the story. Having finally arrived in Westeros, Daenerys didn't receive the reception she had anticipated. Coupled with a succession of emotionally devastating losses, the final season saw Daenerys increasingly give in to more negative traits. Daenerys's descent into a mad queen came to a head during a battle in King's Landing. Despite Cersei's forces laying down arms and surrendering, Daenerys snapped and, from the back of her surviving dragon, went on a brutal rampage. Not only did Daenerys destroy the city but she burned every innocent man, woman, and child that she could find. There are many that haven't aged well, but this was largely considered the nadir of the final episodes.

Related: Westworld Season 3 Finale Explained: Every Twist & Reveal

Over on Westworld, the character of Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and her journey shared several traits with that of Daenerys. Both were introduced as pawns to be used and abused by others. Both increasingly asserted control over their own fates and achieved violent revenge on those that hurt and crossed them. Westworld season 2, especially, saw Dolores pursue this path with an almost bloodthirsty fervor. As a result, many other characters (as well as viewers) began to perceive Dolores' journey as one equally destined for a conclusively villainous turn. More than once it was stated that Dolores intended to burn down the human world - conjuring similar imagery to Daenerys rampage. Characters such as Bernard continued acting on that belief throughout Westworld season 3. It was revealed in the finale, however, that Dolores had been intending all along to free humanity rather than destroy it. Whether that came as a surprise or Dolores' heroism was perceived all along, it remains a perfect subversion of Game of Thrones' mistake.

With George R.R. Martin still working on the novels, it remains to be seen whether Daenerys descent into tyrannical madness is more successfully built towards. In terms of Game of Thrones, though it could be argued there were some signs, it felt like too much of an abrupt turn for many viewers. For much of the show's run, they had been positioned to see Daenerys as a hero - fighting back against misogynistic and disgustingly corrupt systems. She was the kind of modern icon that many fans (especially female ones) had longed for. Though countless movies and television shows have seen heroes become villains - as suggested by the classic line from The Dark Knight - it was both inherently bleak and a bitter pill for fans to swallow.

Whether or not that specific example played into Westworld Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's creative choice is unknown. In either case, it is no doubt a welcome one. Though previous character choices made her more of a flawed one, Dolores concluded season 3 as nothing less than a hero. Even more than that, Dolores emerged as the role model that Daenerys ultimately, unfortunately, wasn't. She showed that not every victim of abuse and the like ends up perpetuating similar patterns when they come into power. Dolores, in her own words, chose to see the beauty in the world and even humanity. As a result, Westworld season 3 had a blessedly more hopeful message.

More: What To Expect From Westworld Season 4

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