Kevin Smith’s strange adventure with HBO Max has come to an end.
The filmmaker’s “Strange Adventures” DC comic book anthology series has been axed by Warner Bros. Discovery and will not be moving forward at HBO Max, whose representatives confirmed the news to IndieWire.
Smith was set to co-write and direct an episode of “Strange Adventures” as part of the anthology series around lesser-known DC characters. Smith recently shared on his “Hollywood Babble-On” YouTube show that HBO Max scrapped the series, executive-produced by Greg Berlanti.
The “Clerks” director explained that he was writing an episode of “Strange Adventures” with “Supergirl” collaborator Eric Carrasco. The episode was expected to center on Jimmy Olsen and Bizarro, with Nicolas Cage being eyed for the role of Bizarro.
“[Dropping ‘Strange Adventures’] kind of made sense to me — nobody necessarily knows these characters, and it sounded like an expensive show,” Smith shared on his podcast. He added that each episode was set to cost between $16 and $20 million.
Smith described “Strange Adventures” as an “anthology series of cautionary tales set in a world where superpowers exist, and, in what promises to be our biggest DC show ever made.”
He quipped, “Don’t feel bad for me, I got paid,” before adding about the future of the episode, “We’re talking about taking it over to DC and doing it as a comic book, because we fucking took the time to write the script. Might as well hand it to an artist and let them draw it.”
“Strange Adventures” was one of several projects from Berlanti Productions at HBO Max. Berlanti has an overall deal at Warner Bros. Television, with other projects including “Titans,” “Doom Patrol,” and forthcoming “Dead Boy Detectives” as executive producer.
The news comes on the heels of the scrapped “Batgirl” movie that, while completed, will not be released by Warner Bros. Discovery on HBO Max or in theaters. The shelved $90 million DC Comics installment starred Leslie Grace, Brendan Fraser, Michael Keaton, and J.K. Simmons.
Smith similarly slammed the decision to scrap “Batgirl,” saying on his podcast, “It’s an incredibly bad look to cancel the Latina ‘Batgirl’ movie. I don’t give a shit if the movie was absolute fucking dog shit – I guarantee you that it wasn’t.”
Smith summed up, “I love all the CW shows, but the CW shows show their budgetary constraints. They said ‘Batgirl’ looked too cheap because it was a $90 million movie. How do you make a cheap-looking $90 million movie? If it looked slightly better than an episode of ‘Arrow’ then why couldn’t we see that?”
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav later clarified during the company’s second-quarter 2022 earnings call that axing the movie was part of a plan to “bring Warner back and produce great high-quality films” with a mission to “protect the DC brand.”