DC’s Swamp Thing is currently airing on the DC Universe streaming service. Scheduled for 10 episodes — down from the original order of 13 — the series aired its fifth episode this week, and all five episodes have been well received by both fans and critics. But even as we collectively enjoy the show and where it’s going, the fact that it’s already been cancelled and there will be no second season hangs over the show like the Sword of Damocles. Fans need to come together to Save Swamp Thing, and I’m confident we can do it.
Swamp Thing deserves better than this, and an accounting snafu — or whatever the excuse is this week — should not be what is standing in the way of this show and a fanbase hungry for this kind of scary, horror-based storytelling. Swamp Thing is scary, gory, adult-themed fare that continues to surprise week in and week out. And it stays true to the comics from which it is based.
Show creators Mark Verheiden, Gary Dauberman, and James Wan all have strong horror film backgrounds, and Dauberman wrote and directed the spooky and sublime Annabelle Comes Home, which is in theaters now. He and James Wan are the masterminds behind The Conjuring Universe, which is a moneymaker for the studio with each new film.
So Why Was Swamp Thing Cancelled?
The initial story released from DC was creative differences, but it soon came out that North Carolina, where the show is filmed, did not carry the right numerals in their accounting, and that left the production without an important tax break. Because of this, the show was cut from 13 episodes to 10, and production was subsequently shut down before the first episode even aired.
Sources have come out since that initial revelation and muddied the swamp in terms of the reason for the cancelation, but one thing is evident: DC and Warner Bros. have made a huge mistake, and now fans are rallying to save Swamp Thing.
As Swamp Thing has aired each week for the last month, fans are realizing that the show is spot-on in the tone of the character, and it is, by far, the best original live action show on the DC Universe app. The hashtag #SaveSwampThing is all over Twitter, and a small, but vocal base of fans are making some noise.
How Can We Save Swamp Thing?
First and foremost, if you are a fan of the character — or of comic books — then subscribe to DC Universe and make sure you watch the show. Watch it multiple times. If you already subscribe — and let’s face it, you should — watch the show. Watch it over and over.
If you are cleaning the house, or doing laundry, or mowing the lawn, set it to play in the background so the powers that be at Warner Bros. can see a good number of streams, and they will have hard data that people are watching.
Second, a social media assault using the #SaveSwampThing hashtag can make a huge difference. Use the hashtag on everything. Tweeting about Batman? Use #SaveSwampThing. Heck, tweeting about Spider-Man: Far From Home? Use the Save Swamp Thing hashtag. It all adds up and it again shows that fans care.
The DC Universe service is designed in such a way that the show can very well be uncanceled just as easily as it was cancelled. A full year separates seasons, so there could still be time to lock down the creatives to continue the story.
Can Swamp Thing Be Saved?
The short answer is yes. Maybe not on DC Universe, but the show could live on with another platform. The first to come to mind is HBO, which is owned by Warner Bros., and let’s face it, the network needs a new hit show after Game of Thrones ended last month.
If HBO passes, the new WarnerMedia streaming service could save Swamp Thing by making it a cornerstone series in its infancy. Move the 10 episodes already filmed to the service, and then bring it back for subsequent seasons until Dauberman, Verheiden, and Wan can finish the story they set out to do.
At the very least, Swamp Thing could be converted into a series of feature-length films for DC Universe, WarnerMedia, or even theatrical release. A trilogy of films starring this cast and made by this crew could wrap up the story and leave the character in a place where he could easily guest on another DC Universe show, like the crazy Doom Patrol, or Titans, which have both been awarded second seasons and have futures on the service.
If you are a fan of DC Comics, or the character, we all need to work together to save Swamp Thing. Cancelled shows are saved all the time, and the cancelled Netflix show One Day At A Time was just saved by another network. There is a precedent.
If you want to save Swamp Thing, subscribe to DC Universe and watch the show. Use the hashtag #SaveSwampThing on everything you tweet or post all over social media for the next few months. And lastly, continue to make noise across all social media, hashtags or not. Very important people are paying attention, and if we all band together as one voice, we can save Swamp Thing.
All images courtesy of Warner Bros.