HBO Max just got a lot more interesting. AT&T hosted a “preview day” for the upcoming streaming service, and revealed a launch date, as well as some of the programming headed to WarnerMedia’s Disney+ and Netflix competitor.
HBO Max will launch in May 2020 at $15 a month. That’s the same price as a regular HBO subscription, but it’ll get you a lot more stuff. About 31 original series will arrive on HBO Max during its first year. By the end of 2021, that number will be over 50. Instead of focusing on the amount of content available, which seems to be the strategy employed by Netflix and Disney+, WarnerMedia is playing up the quality of its offerings and its “Recommended By Humans” curation options.
Original series coming to HBO Max include two new DC Comics-inspired shows. One, Green Lantern, will focus on the popular space cops who patrol the DC Universe’s cosmos. The other, Strange Adventures, will be an anthology series starring more obscure members of DC’s deep roster. Both shows will be produced by Greg Berlanti, who currently oversees the ever-growing DC Comics “Arrowverse” on The CW. The service will also include HBO shows, like the newly announced Game of Thrones spinoff, House of the Dragon.
Other original productions announced today include Tooned Out from Robert Zemeckis, which will mash up live-action actors with animated ones, in the same vein as Zemeckis’ Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Raised By Wolves is a new sci-fi series from Ridley Scott that was originally slated for TNT, but will now air on HBO Max. Elizabeth Banks, Issa Rae, and Mindy Kaling are all producing half-hour comedies for HBO Max, while over 80 new shorts starring the Looney Tunes characters will ultimately make their way to the service. Five new seasons of Sesame Street will join the 50 previous years’ worth of educational programming on the service.
In terms of existing content, over 1,800 films from the Warner Bros. library will be available on HBO Max at launch, including the entire The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, as well as every DC Comics-related film released over the past 40 years. This includes Joker, Todd Phillips’ record-busting supervillain drama, which will be exclusive to HBO Max. Classic films like Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and 2001: A Space Odyssey will help bolster HBO’s 10,000-hour strong launch library.
Additionally, WarnerMedia paid over $500 million for the exclusive streaming rights to South Park, which should be on HBO Max at launch. New episodes of South Park will arrive on HBO Max just one day after airing on Comedy Central. Rick & Morty, the cult-favorite sci-fi comedy, will also be streamable on HBO Max, although it will still be available on Hulu as well.
HBO Max will also delve into nonfiction programs with a series from CNN about the infamous Heaven’s Gate cult, a documentary about Anthony Bourdain, and five stand-up comedy specials from Conan O’Brien.
Finally, AT&T confirmed that HBO Max will host the (almost) complete existing HBO catalog. Game of Thrones? The Sopranos? Watchmen? Yup, they’ll all be there.
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