HBO Max has handed out three production commitments to one-hour dramas from Bad Robot Productions, including one set in the “Justice League Dark” universe.
In addition, HBO Max and Bad Robot have teamed on the series “Overlook,” inspired by Stephen King’s “The Shining,” and “Duster,” an original drama co-written by LaToya Morgan and Bad Robot’s J.J. Abrams. All three shows will be executive produced by J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot’s head of television, Ben Stephenson. Rachel Rusch Rich, Bad Robot’s executive vice president of television, will serve as a co-executive producer. Warner Bros. Television will produce all three shows, while Warner Bros. International Television Distribution will be the global distributor for all three shows.
The three shows are the first television projects set up at HBO Max under Abrams’ and Bad Robot’s mega-deal with WarnerMedia that was unveiled in September 2019.
“What an amazing start to our association with the wildly imaginative Bad Robot team under J.J. and Katie [McGrath],” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max and president of TNT, TBS, and truTV. “What could be better than an original J.J. idea and then Warner Bros. letting them loose on iconic I.P. from Stephen King and the DC Universe and to provide more must-have programming on HBO Max.”
No further details are currently available about the “Justice League Dark” series, including which characters would be featured in the show. In the DC Comics, the team consists of members like John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Doctor Mist and many others.
The team was first introduced in 2011, with a live-action feature film based on the comic books having been in the works for years. It was most recently reported in January that DC and Warner Bros. were plotting both film and television projects in the “Justice League Dark” universe. An animated film was released in 2017, with Keanu Reeves having played Constantine in a standalone film in 2005.
“Overlook” is described a horror-thriller series that explores the untold stories of the Overlook Hotel, the most famous haunted hotel in American fiction. The project reunites Bad Robot, King and WBTV, who previously collaborated on the psychological-horror series “Castle Rock” for Hulu.
Set in the 1970’s Southwest, “Duster” explores the life of a getaway driver for a growing crime syndicate. Morgan is currently a writer on “The Walking Dead”. Previously, she was a co-executive producer and writer of AMC’s “Into the Badlands” and “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” and was a writer for NBC’s “Parenthood” and Showtime’s “Shameless.”
Other current Bad Robot shows include “Westworld” and the upcoming “Demimonde” and “Lovecraft Country” at HBO. The company is also producing “Lisey’s Story,” “Little Voice,” and “My Glory Was I Had Such Friends” at Apple.
The “Justice League Dark” series is the latest DC project set up at HBO Max rather than the standalone streamer DC Universe. Others include an Aquaman animated miniseries, with Greg Berlanti executive producing two others — an untitled Green Lantern series and a series adaptation of “Strange Adventures.”
It was announced last July that the DCU show “Doom Patrol” had been renewed for a second season, but that season would be available to stream on both DCU and HBO Max, with Season 1 also becoming available on HBO Max upon the Season 2 premiere. Likewise, episodes of the upcoming DCU show “Stargirl” will air on The CW the day after their streaming debut and will also be available on The CW’s digital platforms. It was originally set to start airing May 11 but was pushed back a week due to programming shifts caused by the coronavirus pandemic.