HBO Max Just Cancelled 3 DC Live-Action Superhero Shows In One Week

By Klein Felt Updated:

After losing both Titans and Doom Patrol earlier in the week, a third HBO Max series has hit the chopping block. 

Fans are still reeling from the unveiling of James Gunn and Peter Safran's renewed DC Universe (DCU) plan, as the duo begins to lay the groundwork for a new "unified" vision for Warner Bros.' blue brand.

As a part of this retooling, there have been some casualties. The Arrowverse is slowly winding down, actors like Henry Cavill have been given the boot, and there have been a number of cancelations of projects both ongoing and in the works. 

Now, yet another shift in the established DC landscape has come.

The End of DC's Pennyworth

Pennyworth TV Poster

According to a new report from Variety, Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler has been canceled after three seasons on HBO Max. 

As a part of the cancelation HBO Max released a statement noting that "while HBO Max is not moving forward with another season of Pennyworth" Warner Bros. is still "very thankful" for everyone that made the show happen:

“While HBO Max is not moving forward with another season of ‘Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler,’ we are very thankful to creator Bruno Heller and executive producers Matthew Patnick, Danny Cannon and John Stephens, along with Warner Bros. Television, for their brilliant, unique, gripping depiction of the origin of Alfred Pennyworth, one of the most iconic characters in the Batman world.”

The Batman prequel ran for three seasons, focusing on a much younger version of Bruce Wayne's loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth, as he navigates 1960s London as a former Special Air Service Spy (SAS).

This news comes mere days after both two other DC streaming series were axed (Titans and Doom Patrol). 

It is unknown why these three shows were ultimately canceled, but DC's new direction behind James Gunn and Peter Safran likely has something to do with it.

The Reality of the New DC

As much as it is disappointing to see cancelation and creatives losing their jobs, this is all part of doing business at DC right now. 

The blue brand is undergoing a major facelift. The general public just got the first tease of this from DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn, with the executive lining up 10 movies and TV series to look forward to in the new DCU. 

However, this next evolution of the super-powered franchise is going to be all about unity and cohesion between projects.

The plan dating back to last Fall was to create "one great overarching story" for the DCU, spanning TV, movies, animation, and video games. That means - aside from a couple of Robert Pattinson-sized exceptions - if a particular series or movie is not playing into that new DC vision it will be abandoned. 

Gunn and Safran are very much going scorched earth on a lot of these streaming titles. And for those like Gotham Knights and Superman and Lois who have not been addressed, moves like these will put their futures into question as well.

All three seasons of Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler are available to stream now on HBO Max.

- In This Article: Doom Patrol (Season 4 Part 2)
Release Date
October 12, 2023
Brendan Fraser
Diane Guerrero
Joivan Wade
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.