The future of HBO Max grows more uncertain amid merger and layoff rumors

·2 min read
HBO Max's logo
HBO Max's logo

HBO Max’s logo

Adding a dark irony to the phrase “too big to fail,” multiple insiders say Warner Bros. Discovery plans to consolidate the companies’ two biggest streamers, HBO Max and Discover+, a move that many fear will result in significant layoffs and content losses at HBO Max. The merger will also reportedly draw a harder line in the sand between Warner Bros. unscripted and scripted divisions. HBO content chief Casey Bloys is reportedly set to take on a more senior position once consolidation is complete.

According to TheWrap, multiple industry insiders expect Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav to make an announcement ahead of the companies’ upcoming quarterly earnings report, which marks the first time Warner Bros. has ranked as the world’s No. 2 entertainment giant.

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The troubling rumors mark a long day of chaos at the streamer as Warner Bros. Discovery initiates a variety of cost-cutting measures, from consolidating their digital content to shuttering productions and removing content in search of tax write-offs.

The first signs of distress at the studio came with the bombshell announcement that the $90 million DC Batgirl film wouldn’t be released. Then, HBO Max quietly removed six original films from its streaming services. Per an IndieWire source, the six films mark the beginning of a lengthy list of films and series that will get the boot from the streamer.

Among the axed original films populating the growing HBO Max graveyard: Moonshot starring Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone’s Superintelligence, Seth Rogen’s An American Pickle, Robert Zemeckis’ remake of The Witches led by Anne Hathaway. Hathaway’s film Lockdown was also axed. The last victims are Sundance favorite Charm City Kings and the never-released House Party reboot starring LeBron James. And that’s just on the film side; after the recent cancellations of Gordita Chronicles and Made For Love, it may be time to hold your Love Life close and enjoy one last romp with your Minx. Just please have a heart and don’t tell Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin what’s happening—she’s still so young, so impressionable...