While COVID-19 continues to disrupt the flow of the entertainment industry, Warner Media’s streaming service, HBO Max, remains on track to debut next month. The streaming service will launch with an extensive catalog of movies, beloved tv shows, and original content. While subscribers will have to wait a bit longer for the highly anticipated “Friends” reunion special (delayed because of the current pandemic), HBO Max has plenty of other exciting projects in the works. Last September, Warner Media struck a massive deal with J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot Productions spanning across multiple platforms. Now, the first wave of collaborations has been unveiled, and they’re coming to HBO Max.
According to Variety, Bad Robot is developing three new one-hour programs for HBO Max. J.J. Abrams will executive produce all three shows alongside Bad Robot’s head of television, Ben Stephenson and Rachel Rusch Rich, Bad Robot’s executive vice president of television.
The biggest of the three is a “Justice League Dark” series based on the DC Comic of the same name. While fans of the property were hoping for confirmations on characters, there are no further details. The original team consisted of John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Doctor Mist, and many others. There have been numerous attempts at a live-action adaptation with names such as Guillermo del Toro and Doug Liman previously attached. Whether or not the series will connect to the larger DCEU remains to be seen.
The next project is titled “Overlook” and takes inspiration from Stephen King’s “The Shining.” The horror/thriller series will explore the untold stories of the Overlook Hotel, possibly featuring characters from King’s novel. The project reunites Bad Robot, King, and WBTV, who previously collaborated on Hulu’s popular psychological-horror series, “Castle Rock.”
The final project is an original drama titled “Duster.” LaToya Morgan and J.J. Abrams will co-write the series. “Duster” is set in the 1970’s Southwest and will explore the life of a getaway driver for a growing crime syndicate. Morgan’s past credits include “The Walking Dead,” “TURN: Washington Spies,” “Into the Badlands,” “Parenthood,” and “Shameless.”
Kevin Reilly, the chief content officer of HBO Max and president of TNT, TBS, and truTV, said the following regarding the announcement:
“What an amazing start to our association with the wildly imaginative Bad Robot team under J.J. and Katie [McGrath]. What could be better than an original J.J. idea and then Warner Bros. letting them loose on iconic I.P. from Stephen King and the DC Universe and to provide more must-have programming on HBO Max.”
Bad Robot is already producing shows such as “Westworld,” and the upcoming “Demimonde” and “Lovecraft Country” for HBO. With this announcement, the company will have a larger presence on HBO Max and proves that Warner Media is ready to compete with the numerous streaming platforms out there.