HBO And Max Content Chief Casey Bloys Says “A Sameness Of Storytelling” Has Bogged Down Recent Superhero Outings, Makes Case For Why ‘The Penguin’ Won’t Be Flightless

HBO and Max Content CEO Casey Bloys isn’t buying the notion that audiences have tired of major comic-book tentpoles, despite recent signs of a dropoff at the movie box office and some streaming outlets.

“I don’t know that it’s necessarily tentpole fatigue as much as it is a sameness of storytelling,” he said during a 2024 programming showcase in New York.

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One of the shows to get significant billing at the event is The Penguin, which stars Colin Farrell in the title tole. The Batman helmer Matt Reeves is an executive producer of the Max Original, whose original spring 2024 launch will be delayed by the WGA and actors strikes..

DC is the main supplier of superhero fare on Max, but Bloys largely demurred during a press Q&A when asked for details about the state of the comic book corporate sibling’s production slate, including James Gunn’s new take on Superman. Thematically, though, he said DC definitely fits into his programming philosophy when it comes to keeping genre fare interesting.

“I think the key, even within DC, is trying to tell different stories in different styles, to not try to do the same show over and over and over again,” he said. “I would say Peacemaker is a very different show tonally than The Penguin. So, there’s not a uniformity to the storytelling and I think that helps.”

Bloys volunteered a thought about a major rival. “Unfortunately, Marvel, as good as their shows are, there’s probably been a lot of them. That’s one of the advantages we have at Warner Bros. is it’s not just one set of stories. There’s a lot of stories you can go to.”

While Peacemaker, The Penguin and other shows in development are from the DC stable, Bloys said, the slate also features spinoffs from Warner Bros. films like It and Dune, with a Crazy Rich Asians spinoff also in the pipeline.

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