While HBO Max losing the Harry Potter movies makes some sense, this doesn’t. A new report indicates that six HBO Max original movies (dubbed ‘Max Originals’) have quietly been removed from the streaming service over the last few weeks. And while we love HBO Max (it’s our pick for the best streaming service), we don’t like the news it’s gotten recently.
As Variety (opens in new tab) reports, the films in question include the Seth Rogen-led comedy An American Pickle, and the 2020 remake of The Witches starring Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer. Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse’s Moonshot also vanished from HBO Max, as did the pandemic heist movie Locked Down, also starring Hathaway. Melissa McCarthy’s Superintelligence and the drama Charm City Kings were other victims.
As noted above, movies come and go from streaming services all the time. This, though, is different for two reasons. First of all, these were HBO Max movies. Secondly, HBO Max didn’t include their removal in the recent monthly lists of “Titles leaving HBO Max.” Tom’s Guide has reached out to HBO Max for comment, and will update this story if we receive word back.
This comes on the heels of TV shows vanishing from HBO Max. In July, folks noticed that programming from TNT and TBS — networks owned by HBO Max parent company Warner Bros. Discovery — including Snowpiercer, The Last O.G. and Chad, vanished from HBO Max as well.
And then there was the other shocking WB Discovery cancelation yesterday…
Analysis: What’s going on at Warner Bros. Discovery?
Batgirl, a mostly finished film that Warner Bros. sunk $90 million into, was expected on HBO Max. Then Warner Bros. Discovery canceled Batgirl (opens in new tab), seemingly out of the blue.
The film, last-seen in post production, starred Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl), alongside J.K Simmons as Commissioner Gordon and Brendan Fraser as the villainous Firefly. Michael Keaton was also set to feature, as Batman. Insiders told Variety (opens in new tab) that Batgirl was just not made for the right scale: the execs reportedly want DC movies to be blockbusters, and not made-for-TV streaming projects.
But that’s not all. Later, Variety (opens in new tab) reported that Batgirl’s demise was down to Warner Bros. Discovery looking to nix it to get a tax write-off. Which, if true, would mean they’d be unable to release the film on any service where they could make money. A Scoob! sequel was also nixed.
We may get more insight into these shake-up moves under the Warner Bros. Discovery umbrella tomorrow (Thursday, August 4) with the company’s Q2 earnings. There, we could also find out how the incoming HBO Max/Discovery Plus merger will go.
A rumor floated by YouTuber Grace Randolph (opens in new tab) even suggests that HBO Max may be subsumed by Discovery Plus, as an “HBO” tab in that service. HBO Max shows would then either be canceled or become “HBO shows.” This is strictly a rumor at this stage, but it raised our eyebrows nonetheless.
Next: Disney Plus just delayed She-Hulk’s release date — and we’re confused.