‘Swamp Thing’: Inside The Downfall Of DC’s Murky Monster

As you all know by now, DC Universe’s ‘Swamp Thing’ series has been cancelled. Amid varying accusations of what went down behind the scenes, from tax paperwork errors to a colossal budget, The GWW spoke to several people close to production on the series about what actually happened.

When WarnerMedia and AT&T first saw footage from the series, they were not pleased. Certain executives found that they did not care for the direction of the show enough to continue supporting its sizable budget (around $80 million), and decided to stop production the day before episode 11 was supposed to begin shooting in mid-April. A few days after, reshoots began on episodes two, four, seven, and ten. A new ending was written for the season (now series) finale, and production wrapped for good on May 1st.

Initially, crew members were told to start tearing down sets on May 2nd. However, things changed on April 22nd, when it was announced sets were to stay up for the time being. The reason? Different networks, including HBO and The CW (who save since passed on the series), were looking at picking it up for a second season, while WarnerMedia and AT&T were still mulling over their options. It was ultimately the group effort of executive producers James Wan, Gary Dauberman, and Mark Verheiden, and DC themselves, that were pushing Warner Bros. to reconsider the cancellation. They decided to wait until mid-June to make a final decision. But, Warners decided to pull the plug early last week: this was expected but it is unknown why they did it so early. The swamp set is currently being taken down in North Carolina.

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Sources also stress that the new leadership at WarnerMedia are very keen on doing more shows in the formulaic style of The CW’s ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash,’ and less shows like ‘Doom Patrol’ and ‘Swamp Thing.’ One source even says that Len Wiseman (‘Underworld,’ ‘Live Free or Die Hard’) was hired as director to make the show seem like more of a procedural. This tactic wound up backfiring as Wiseman put his own horror spin on the series, which execs were very displeased with. Disney’s upcoming streaming service is said to have spooked WarnerMedia as well.

While we wait to see what’s next for DC Universe, enjoy the next eight episodes of ‘Swamp Thing,’ which airs every Friday through August 2nd. The series hails from Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman, and stars Crystal Reed, Andy Bean, Virginia Madsen, and Derek Mears.

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