DC Universe pulled the plug on Swamp Thing after airing just one episode, and fans and critics alike were left confused. After all, the show was an adaptation of the fan-favorite comic book character of the same name, and the first season of Swamp Thing racked up an impressive 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, a DC Universe Community Manager going under the handle “Applejack” has finally bestowed upon the benighted masses an explanation behind Swamp Thing’s cancellation: “Unfortunately we are not in a position to answer at this time.”
Oh wait, that wasn’t an answer at all. Luckily, Swamp Thing’s executive producer James Wan weighed in on Instagram: “Don’t really know or understand why #Swampthing was cancelled.”
Don’t really know or understand why #Swampthing was cancelled, but I can tell you this — all the cast and crew, and producing/writing team poured their hearts into this. Really proud of everyone’s hard work. Go watch episode 2, and immortalize these 10 episodes. Swampy deserves it.
A post shared by James Wan; (@creepypuppet) on
Okay, what’s going on here? What’s really going on? Deadline, for one, points out that AT&T just acquired DC’s parent company, Time Warner. That means that the newly formed media conglomerate might be re-evaluating the financial wisdom of running DC Universe, especially when WarnerMedia is planning to launch a competing streaming service of its own by the end of the year. There’s also the suggestion that DC was never particularly hot on Swamp Thing in the first place, as the show’s order was cut back to 10 episodes, from 13, before its release. The Hollywood Reporter backed up this interpretation, saying that Warner network executives expected Swamp Thing to flop even while it was in development, and decided to go ahead and release the first season to avoid wasting money on a failed pilot and bolster DC Universe’s paltry original video content.
Then there are the juicier rumors, like one that claims Swamp Thing was felled by an accountant’s error that miscalculated their tax rebate for filming in North Carolina. According to a now-deleted tweet from Movies.com writer John Gholson, WarnerMedia expected $40 million, about half the reported budget of Swamp Thing, but got much less, leading them to shut down production to save costs. Media outlets quickly reported on the plausible-sounding explanation, but the tale was exposed as a crock of lies by none other than the director of the North Carolina Film Office himself.
The viral spread of fake news doesn’t happen for no reason—clearly fans are hungering for some sort of explanation. In the meanwhile, a new episode Swamp Thing continues to debut each week, in a strange sort of living death reminiscent of the title creature himself. The series is scheduled to end on Aug. 2.
Watch the trailer for Swamp Thing below.