Warner Bros. Discovery has announced its upcoming slate of programming for the rebranded Max streaming service, which will launch in the US on May 23. Among the highlights are a “Harry Potter” series and a “Game of Thrones” prequel. The “Harry Potter” series will be a “faithful retelling” of J.K. Rowling’s books, featuring a new cast. Each season is set to focus on one of the seven books, with the series potentially running for a decade. Meanwhile, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight,” set 100 years prior to the events of “Game of Thrones,” will be based on fantasy novellas by George R.R. Martin. The series will follow the adventures of a knight named Ser Duncan the Tall (Dunk) and Aegon V Targaryen (Egg). Martin will serve as an executive producer and writer alongside Ira Parker.
Other programming announced includes a series based on the Penguin character from “The Batman,” currently in production with Colin Farrell reprising his role, as well as another comedy set in the “Big Bang Theory” universe from Chuck Lorre.
The programming announcements were made during a presentation for journalists and investors. Warner Bros. Discovery is banking on safe bet franchises that will likely lure viewers, and the success of “Harry Potter” and “Game of Thrones” bodes well for the new service. However, some may question the reliance on already-established properties rather than taking risks on new original programming.
The announcement also comes as “House of the Dragon,” another “Game of Thrones” prequel, has begun production on its second season for HBO. Warner Bros. Discovery will be hoping to build on the success of the original series, which became a cultural phenomenon during its eight-season run.