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Reports Warn That HBO Max Is About To Get Gutted

The shakeup at Warner Bros. Discovery continues, it would seem. After the merger between the two companies was finalized in April, CEO David Zaslav's talk appeared to be focused on optimism. "This is like our rendezvous with destiny," he said in a town hall hosted by Oprah Winfrey, per Deadline. "This is art. We have the goods, we have the chance to be the greatest media company."

Even then, however, talk of redundancies and layoffs were in the pipeline. And with a dramatic restructuring for DC Entertainment also being publicly discussed (via Variety), the next natural question was what this might mean for so many IPs –- superhero and otherwise -– associated with the DC Extended Universe. Which is to say nothing of so many other projects that fall under the WBD umbrella.

The past several days have offered something of an answer, and it hasn't been pretty. Both "Scoob! Holiday Haunt" and "Batgirl" got unceremoniously axed without even the reasonable alternative of a straight-to-streaming release being mentioned. Both movies were practically finished, with the writers and director of "Scoob!" being straight up baffled by the decision. Some, like Oli Welsh at Polygon, have been similarly stunned, wondering out loud why an HBO Max release for "Batgirl" isn't even being considered. Some fresh insight into the situation at Warner Bros. Discovery may answer that question.

Insiders speculate that HBO Max could see major changes

Though unconfirmed, TheWrap reports that the feeling of some at Warner Bros. Discovery is that a significant shakeup of HBO Max is imminent. Of course, there has already been talk of merging HBO Max and Discovery+, along with all of the reconsiderations that would come with it (via Variety). The report points to David Zaslav handing more oversight to HBO chief content officer Casey Bloys, along with the possibility that he oversees the streaming service that results in the merging of HBO Max and Discovery+.

The report from TheWrap quotes an anonymous insider source: "Everyone in Warner Bros. Discovery is nervous at the moment, and [they're] starting to look at alternative job options in case they get the axe ... Sounds like they're not doing HBO Max scripted shows anymore with HBO taking over, so less scripted shows overall."

If the overnight actions are any indication, this may be the case. According to Variety, HBO Max quietly took down several streaming-exclusive Warner Bros. movies while nobody was looking (though they are still available to rent or buy through third-party video-on-demand sites). What this means for the long-term futures of so many fan-favorites on HBO Max — from "Doom Patrol" to "Our Flag Means Death" Season 2 — remains to be seen.