The industry is feeling the effects of Warner Bros. Discovery’s break up with HBO Max.

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s decision to release all of its upcoming features traditionally, in theaters, is messing with HBO Max’s entire marquee. Although the streaming services remove and add titles constantly, the end of day-and-date and “Max Originals” releases is a huge loss for HBO Max.

The merger of Discovery+ and HBO could mean significant layoffs for executives and staff to minimize redundancies and limit the scripted content, favoring unscripted projects for streaming. 

An_american_pickle_hbo_max_original'An American Pickle'Credit: HBO Max

The Effects of the HBO and Discovery Merger

Speculations that layoffs are on the horizon began rippling through HBO offices Tuesday afternoon after the news that two completed features were shelved, and would never see the light of day. Employees at the HBO offices are “all freaking out,” with one insider telling The Wrap that “everyone in Warner Bros. Discovery is nervous at the moment, and [they’re] starting to look at alternative job options in case they get the ax.”

According to a top Hollywood manager who talked to The Wrap, Zaslav and his executives have been talking with top showrunners and talent about HBO’s content chief Casey Bloys, who has received 140 Emmy nominations and is known for being a creative-friendly programming executive, taking on a more senior role as the two platforms become one. 

We are not entirely sure what Zaslav’s plans are as he tries to reshape Warner Bros. Discovery’s content-release plan. If the economy enters a recession, we could see the film industry bubble bust, meaning that the Hollywood system will see major shifts in budgets and productions. 

Although it is nice to see big features in theaters, I find myself wondering what the future of streaming will look like. Will unscripted content become the norm? Or maybe low- and mid-budget projects will be embraced by studios and find a home on streaming platforms. 

It’s important to remember that this is all speculation at the moment. All we can do is recover from the shock of an out-of-pocket move and continue to create work that excites us. 

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Source: The Wrap