It would appear Warner Bros. Discovery is not done cutting movies yet. Variety is reporting that the company has been quietly removing content from its popular streaming service HBO Max, including at least six films that had been released on the platform as exclusive “HBO Max Originals”.
The culled projects consist of Moonshot, a sci-fi rom-com starring Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse that dropped only a few months ago; Superintelligence, a dystopian rom-com from Melissa McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone; An American Pickle, a Seth Rogan comedy that stars the actor in a duel-role; The Witches, a 2020 remake of the Roald Dahl classic, directed by Robert Zemeckis with an all-star cast of Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Rock; Locked Down, a Doug Liman heist film with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Hathaway; and finally, Charm City Kings, a drama from Angel Manuel Soto.
The removals appear to have been made in an effort to cut costs, and were first discovered by users of Reddit after Warner Bros.’ controversial cancellations of Batgirl and Scoob!: Holiday Haunt on Tuesday. Also noted, the reboot of cult classic comedy House Party, which was set to be produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter‘s SpringHill, has been scrubbed from HBO Max’s release calendar. It was previously expected to drop on July 28th. As mentioned by Variety, it’s not an unusual practice for streaming services to take films on and off of their catalog.
However, it is strange that the company would remove films produced specifically for distribution on HBO Max, including Moonshot, which has only been out in the wild for about three months, and that the changes would be made without any sort of announcement. It remains to be seen if these now-unwatchable projects ever see the light of day again.