'Swamp Thing' Cancellation Shocked Production Insiders, Who Had At Least Three Seasons Planned

Lots of people seemed shocked when DC Universe's Swamp Thing was cancelled – including the people who worked on the show. In the wake of the sudden Swamp Thing cancellation, sources close to the production are speaking out, revealing that no one saw this coming, and that a potential three-season arc was planned out.

After airing only one episode, DC Universe decided to drain the Swamp Thing, and cancel the series. (Season one will still air in full.) So what happened? Before the show premiered, there were signs of trouble. DC Universe cut the first season's episode count down from 13 to 10 – a move that caught the cast and crew off guard. After the cancellation, a rumor sprouted up that the show had been cancelled due to a major tax credit snafu – although Deadline, in their snobby way, later refuted that claim.

No matter what DC Universe's reasoning, the cancellation appeared to come out of nowhere for the folks involved with the show. Several anonymous sources close to the production spoke with Business Insider, detailing the shockwaves the Swamp Thing cancellation sent out. "Cancellation came as a surprise, 100%," a producer said. "It came out of left field...We walked away with the sets standing. We didn't tear them down and go home."

But the most awkward bit of info comes from the following excerpt:

One source close to the production told Business Insider that the show had a possible three-season arc, and the feeling on set was that it could have gone past that if it was a hit, with characters spinning off into their own shows. The source used the specific example of a potential "Justice League Dark" team-up series.

Yikes. As for just why the show was ultimately cancelled, the insiders have their theories. One is that the show was too expensive to produce. At the same time, one crew member said that they felt the show was safe for that very reason – why spend so much money on something just to immediately cancel it? "We knew we were getting good stuff on set and we kept hearing that the studio was very happy," said the crew. "There were also a lot of sunk costs where it felt like if things were going well at all, they'd probably keep going because they had so much invested in it. The swamp we built was incredible and was a very expensive set to build."

If budget isn't to blame, the shifting landscape at WarnerMedia – the owners of DC Universe – might be:

A source who worked on the show said there was buzz on set that WarnerMedia might fold DC Universe into its own upcoming streaming service, which is also expected to include HBO and Cinemax. That means WarnerMedia could have an alternate vision for DC Universe than originally expected, which could have influenced the "Swamp Thing."

If that's the real reasoning behind the cancellation, we'll likely find out sooner rather than later, since the debut of the Warner streaming service is fast approaching. A beta version of the service is said to be debuting by the end of this year, with a full launch expected in 2020.