Green Lantern - Grant Morrison

WarnerMedia had its first Television Critics Association panel for HBO Max since they named their upcoming streaming service. HBO Max Chief Content Officer Kevin Reilly previewed the service last year, but it was still untitled at the time. In their October investor presentation, HBO Max revealed one of their originals is a Green Lantern series from producer Greg Berlanti.

Reilly had an update on Berlanti’s Green Lantern series for the TCA. That led to further questions for Reilly about the future of DC Universe, the company’s current standalone streaming service with originals Titans, Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn and the short-lived Swamp Thing.

What Greg Berlanti’s Green Lantern series is about

Greg Berlanti wrote the ill-fated 2011 Green Lantern movie. Perhaps the greatest impact of that movie is the running joke Ryan Reynolds has at his own expense in the Deadpool movies. Since then, Berlanti has shepherded the Arrowverse on The CW, a far more lucrative and successful universe than DC was able to launch cinematically. Aubrey brought news from Berlanti about the streaming iteration.

“We’re in the early stages of talking to him about it but he did say that the series so far is going to span several decades and focus on the origin story of two major Green Lanterns on earth while going into the story in space of a Green Lantern favorite character of Sinestro,” Aubrey said.

Two Lanterns are better than one, eh? Anyway, the Greg Berlanti of 2020 has far more superhero cred than 2011 Berlanti. Likewise, 2011 Berlanti had to take studio notes. He has clout now and he knows his superheroes. This may be the Green Lantern story he wanted to tell all along. 

What gives with DC Universe?

As exciting as it is that a new Green Lantern is coming to HBO Max, what about all those fans who subscribed to DC Universe? The good news is that Reilly has no plans to scrap the DC Universe platform.

“That’s evolving right now because that’s a deep fan experience and we intend to keep it going at least for the immediate future,” Reilly said. 

Still, it kind of seems like a “screw you” to folks who paid for exclusive DC content. Now they have to pay for HBO Max too. Reilly was sensitive to that and said he’s considering plans to co-mingle DC Universe with HBO Max. Those plans are still early and vague.

“You can expect that the DC video will be in the HBO Max experience, but the deeper fan experience of DCU I think can work in tandem,” Reilly said. “We’re working out what those mechanics are. I’m not opposed to giving those fans a preview of our show, letting them evangelize, whether that’s one episode or even maybe a day to preview the whole series because they’re really the ones who’ll get out and talk about it. So we really want to figure out how to honor those fans and we’ve got to figure out the two subscriptions, and we haven’t done that yet about what that looks like.”

Giving DC Universe subscribers a day of access to Green Lantern is a nice gesture. But do you know what would be even nicer? Free HBO Max upgrade for current DC Universe subscribers. Or, since DC Universe is about half the price of HBO Max, include DC Universe with HBO Max. That way, more people can see DC Universe, talk about it and maybe keep it alive.

“We haven’t worked out the mechanic of that yet,” Reilly said. “We’re hoping to honor the fans. In managing of DC, that’s a very important piece of the equation so I hope we handle that delicately and it works out. That’s the intention.”

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