In 2019, HBO Max signed J.J. Abrams to a $250M deal to develop projects for the streamer. Among the highlights was the development of DC’s Justice League Dark franchise, which was to include projects such as Constantine, Madame X and Zatanna. The former two projects were recently cut from HBO Max’s budget as ongoing shifts at Warner Bros. continue to change the landscape at the streaming service. Now it seems that HBO Max has moved on from the latter as well as Zatanna is now looking for a new home.
Amongst an incredible wealth of information in a report from THR’s Borys Kit came the news that Zatanna has joined Constantine on the scrap heap at HBO Max. According to Kit, however, while the shows are dead at HBO Max, Abrams is shopping them to other networks in hopes of keeping them alive. Constantine was the furthest along of all the Justice League Dark projects, having been set to film this Fall. Set to be 8-episodes, it was going to adapt the story of John Constantine’s fateful encounter with Astra Logue. Zatanna had been in development since early 2021 with Oscar-nominated director Emerald Fennel on the script.
The moves happen as Warner Bros. and Discovery continue their merger and ahead of the two companies streaming services merging into one platform in 2023. For Abrams, it means that 3 years into his deal he has yet to deliver on the promise. In addition to the cancellation of his Justice League Dark projects, another project he developed, Demimonde, was scrapped. Abrams is set to produce the upcoming Constantine film starring Keanu Reeves and also working with Ta-Nehisi Coates on his Superman project, which is said to be set outside the DC Universe’s main continuity.