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WarnerMedia streaming service now named HBO Max, will launch next year

"The untitled WarnerMedia streaming service" was a mouthful, so finally, the company settled on a name for its new venture. 

In a press release issued on Tuesday, July 9, WarnerMedia announced that its upcoming streaming platform is named HBO Max, and will roll out in the spring of 2020. WarnerMedia also released a sleek announcement video to make everything official.

HBO Max will bring to consumers a variety of television series and films, suitable for families with children and adults alike. Its content slate includes programming from HBO, Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, New Line, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, CNN, Cartoon Network, The CW, Looney Tunes, Turner Classic Movies, TNT, TBS, truTV, and Rooster Teeth, as well as a "robust" collection of new originals. 

HBO Max also includes all 236 episodes of Friends (which will depart from its current streaming home Netflix in 2020), the Ruby Rose-led Batwoman series, the long-running teen drama Pretty Little Liars, the Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene, and the classic '90s series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The direct-to-consumer platform has exclusive streaming rights to each of these series, with Friends and already-premiered shows being available at launch. HBO MAX will become the exclusive streaming home for several new Warner Bros.-produced dramas made for the CW in the fall 2019 broadcast season. 

Original series that will hit HBO Max include the following: Dune: The Sisterhood, which adapts Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson's book that's set in the same world as Frank Herbert's DuneTokyo Vice starring Ansel Elgort, which is based on Jake Adelstein's true-life take one the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat; the Kaley Cuoco-led thriller series The Flight Attendant, based on Chris Bohjalian's novel; the 10-episode rom-com anthology Love Life, starring Pitch Perfect actress Anna Kendrick; the post-apocalyptic limited series Station Eleven, adapted for television by Patrick Somerville from Emily St. John Mandel's best-selling novel with director Hiro Murai on board; Made for Love, another Somerville adaptation, this time from Alissa Nutting's novel and directed by S.J. Clarkson; and the Gremlins animated prequel series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai

HBO Max's HBO content that will arrive in 2020 and 2021 includes The Outsider, an adaptation of Stephen King's story, which has Ben Mendelsohn in the lead role and Jason Bateman at the helm; J.J. Abrams, Misha Green, and Jordan Peele's Lovecraft Country; a new sci-fi series from Joss Whedon entitled The Nevers; Julian Fellowes' The Gilded Age that explores "the opulent world of 1885 New York"; the high satire Avenue 5 from Armando Iannucci, which stars Josh Gad and Hugh Laurie; David E. Kelley's psychological thriller The Undoing, directed by Susanne Bier with a cast led by Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman; The Plot Against America, a "reimagined" history inspired by Phillip Roth's novel from writer-executive producer David Simon with Winona Ryder and John Turturro on the cast roster; the Robert Downey Jr.-produced legal drama Perry Mason, starring Matthew Rhys; and writer-director Derek Cianfrance's "complex family drama" entitled I Know This Much is True, which features Mark Ruffalo playing a pair of twins.

On the film side of things, HBO Max is bringing into the mix original movies from DCEU luminary Greg Berlanti and actress-producer extraordinaire Reese Witherspoon. Berlanti inked a deal for four films aimed at young adults — presumably like the coming-of-age film Love, Simon that he directed — and Witherspoon is set to produce a minimum of two movies for HBO Max under her Hello Sunshine production banner. 

The service promises to be "maximized" with WarnerMedia's biggest and best properties. All together, HBO Max is expected to launch with a library comprised of 10,000 hours of content. 

WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement, "HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO's world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is Friends. Under the leadership of two of the strongest creative visionaries — Casey Bloys (HBO) and Kevin Reilly (original content and acquisitions) — and two of the most experienced digital experts — Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssell — I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world's best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it."

With the streaming arena about to quickly fill up when Disney+ and NBCUniversal's unnamed platform launch, HBO Max will have to take every effort available to differentiate itself from its competition — which also includes the well-established Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Judging by this sizable announcement, it looks like that's exactly what HBO Max is doing. Let's just hope it's enough to lure subscribers in and convince them to stay.