The DC Multiverse will soon speak a multitude of languages.
Deadline reports HBO Max plans to localize some of its original content — including the old DC Universe originals — to speak more directly to the international markets it intends to enter in the coming years. “One of the big themes of bringing HBO Max together was breaking down the silos between HBO, Warner Bros and TBS and TNT. I’d say one other silo was international,” HBO and HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys said of the plan.
He added, “One of the things that we’re going to do with Max is that all of our international productions will eventually live on Max and we’re going to do a much better job of coordinating between all of the folks programming in Europe, Latin America and Asia so if there’s anything that we’re developing that has real cross-border appeal, we’ll be able to highlight that.”
At the moment, it is unclear how this localization scheme will work. One option is to use existing DC Comics characters headquartered in different countries. While more obscure than the Justice League, groups like The Great Ten and characters like Crimson Fox reflect the companies occasional attempts to build a more international feel. HBO Max could also go the more direct localization route and take an existing show like Titans or Doom Patrol and re-develop it for Latin America or Europe. The program could, in theory, exist within the DC Multiverse as an alternate version of the established series.
Perhaps more important than the DC content is a clearer understanding of Max’s international roll-out, which will begin in Europe next year and in Latin America sometime in mid-2021. A global presence for the service will be essential in AT&T’s broader goal for the platform; which was revealed Thursday morning when Warner Bros. Pictures announced all of its 2021 films will have a day-and-date release in theaters and on HBO Max. That change in strategy requires eyeballs — and subscription fees — from other countries.
It also likely requires AT&T to make a deal with Roku to bring the HBO Max app to the company’s devices, but we now expect that announcement any second now.
In the meantime, we look forward to seeing what sorts of DC content producers in other countries can make.