HBO Max Cancels Another DC Comics Show

DC Studios chiefs James Gunn and Peter Safran are really going to have a nearly clean slate when their own vision of the DC Comics universe begins now that HBO Max has canceled one more series featuring the characters. Pennyworth, a prequel series about Alfred Pennyworth before he became Batman's butler, was canceled after its third season. Rebranding it as Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler didn't exactly ignite interest in the show.

The series debuted on Epix, the service now known as MGM+, in July 2019. The series moved to HBO Max for Season 3, although it still aired on the linear Epix channel. MGM+ could still add the third season, although that seems unlikely because of the licensing fee, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The show was created by Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, who both worked on Gotham (2014-2019).

Jack Bannon played a younger version of the Alfred character played by Sean Pertwee in Cannon and Heller's previous Batman series. Ben Aldridge, Ryan Fletcher, Dorothy Atkinson, Paloma Faith, Polly Walker, Tamon Tikaram, Harriet Slater, Edward Hogg, and James Purefoy also starred in Season 3.

"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," an HBO Max spokesperson told THR. "An incredible blend of action, drama, and humor, for three seasons, Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler has taken fans on a mind-bending ride into Alfred's eccentric world and the beginnings of cutting-edge superheroes and supervillains."

Pennyworth was canceled just a few days after HBO Max ended Doom Patrol and Titans following their fourth seasons. When Gunn and Safran announced the first "chapter" in their new DC Universe, they made no mention of Pennyworth. They did mention that The CW's Superman & Lois could continue for at least two more seasons. The CW's Arrowverse shows are also not part of Gunn and Safran's plans, although that doesn't matter much since it is all ending with The Flash's upcoming ninth season. Cartoon Network's extremely popular Teen Titans Go! series will continue but marketed under the "Elseworlds" banner separate from Gunn and Safran's interconnected projects.

With Pennyworth, Doom Patrol, and Titans all over, the animated series Harley Quinn is the only remaining pre-Gunn/Safran DC series left on HBO Max. The series has a fourth season coming, as well as a spinoff and Valentine's Day special. Gunn's The Suicide Squad spinoff series Peacemaker was renewed for a second season, but Gunn said he does not have time to make it "right now." Many of the characters from Peacemaker might appear in Waller, a series starring Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.