One of the big appeals of HBO Max, it seemed, ahead of its launch last month was that it would be a hub for DC content. While the streaming service did launch with a selection of DC movies and TV shows, a huge chunk of them are already going to be departing next month. The majority of the service's live-action DC movies will be gone, at least for now.
Recently, HBO listed its "last chance" titles that are set to depart the service on July 1. Among them are Justice League, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Catwoman, Jonah Hex and The Losers. When each of these titles is selected on HBO Max there is even a message that says "Available until July 1." Given that titles regularly shift in and out of rotation on streaming services it seems probably they will return at some point. But, for now at least, this serves as a big blow.
Aquaman, Green Lantern, Joker, Shazam, Steel and Supergirl are still available on the live-action side of things. Though, in terms of perceived quality, that is an admittedly mixed bag. HBO Max also has a selection of animated DC movies, such as Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, The Dark Knight Returns, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract and 2009's animated Wonder Woman movie. The LEGO Batman Movie is currently available, but it is also set to leave on July 1. Several live-action DC shows are available for subscribers as well, including Doom Patrol, Batwoman and Watchmen.
Much of this has to do with pre-existing licensing deals. Disney similarly had to contend with deals that were made with Netflix and cable networks to get some of its marquee content back for Disney+. WarnerMedia, the parent company behind HBO Max, has deals in place as well that were made before they intended to launch the new service. For example, many of the ArrowVerse shows that air on The CW stream on Netflix as part of a deal that was made several years back. That is why The Flash, Arrow and the network's other DC adaptations aren't available.
The DC section of HBO Max, which was viewed as one of the most potentially attractive hubs on the streaming service, already seemed pretty bare bones. With these movies leaving, it will be even more lackluster. Undoubtedly, WarnerMedia, in the long run, will look to get as much of its DC content housed under one roof as possible. They are currently working on some high-profile exclusives in that department, most notably Zack Snyder's Justice League, aka the Snyder Cut. A Green Lantern TV show and a Justice League Dark series produced by J.J. Abrams are also coming down the pipeline. To stream these movies before they are no longer available, head on over to HBO Max.