Last month, AT&T announced its intention to spend a whopping two billion dollars on HBO Max– an upcoming streaming service that’s expected to debut in 2020. Much of that money seems to be going into original content. As a result, a large number of exciting HBO Max originals are on the horizon.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the most intriguing originals that are set to make their way to the upcoming service after it debuts next year.
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HBO Max Originals – Shows
A huge majority of the exclusive originals that are coming to HBO Max are series. One reason for that could be that HBO Max will already have plenty of movies in its on-demand vault. HBO Max subscribers will be able to watch HBO films, plus whatever movies that WarnerMedia and its many subsidiaries provide.
Here’s a look at some of the most intriguing Max Original series that are currently in production.
Raised by Wolves
Aliens creator Ridley Scott’s upcoming sci-fi drama will star Travis Fimmel of Vikings. It’s about a pair of androids that are stranded on a strange planet. They struggle to understand the human children that they must also protect from warring religious zealots.
This coming-of-age series about a group of high school girls growing up within a conservative community will be produced by Girls creator Lena Dunham. Its creators are father-and-daughter duo Zelda Barnz (who is 18 years old) and Daniel Barnz. Daniel Barnz is best known for 2014’s critically acclaimed drama Cake, which starred Jennifer Aniston.
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai
This adult-oriented animated series shows fans of the 1980s films what happened before the events of the original Gremlins movies unfolded. The plot follows Mr. Wing’s adventures in 1920s Shanghai and explains how he met Gizmo.
Dune: The Sisterhood
This Dune spin-off is based on the 2012 novel The Sisterhood of Dune. The plot of the series will revolve around a strange but powerful cult of women known as the Bene Gesserit.
Adventure Time: Distant Lands
The unlikely hit Adventure Time started off as short animated film. After it went viral, Cartoon Network decided to turn it into a series. The series ran for 10 seasons until it concluded in 2018. Four new specials will reunite fans with the show’s classic characters and introduce some fresh ones as well.
Grease: Rydell High
This spin-off series is designed to introduce a new generation of fans to the hit 1978 musical Grease. Many of the original movie’s songs and characters will appear in the series.
Looney Tunes Cartoons
Warner Brothers will attempt to breathe new life into Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and many other classic Looney Tunes characters. The animation style looks very similar to the original cartoon series.
Looney Tunes isn’t the only animated franchise that HBO plans on rebooting for HBO Max. Jellystone revisits Yogi Bear, Boo-Boo, Augie Doggie, Jabberjaw, Captain Caveman and other Hanna-Barbera characters.
Based on a first-person true story about Tokyo’s criminal underworld penned by American journalist Jake Adelstein, Tokyo Vice stars Ansel Elgort of Baby Driver fame.
The protagonist of this series is an animated, 7-year-old version of comedian Ellen DeGeneres. Each episode is intended to show kids that its okay to take risks and make mistakes in life.
This comedy series follows the adventures of a group of misfit female rappers as they try to make it in Miami. Comedian Issa Rae (Insecure) is writing and producing the show.
Other original scripted shows that are coming to HBO Max
- Doom Patrol. The first season of this show about traumatized superheroes is currently available through the DC Universe streaming service, but it will move to HBO Max for season two this year.
- Americanah. This drama is based on Chimanda Ngozi’s best-selling novel about a Nigerian woman’s experiences in the United States.
- Sesame Street. The classic kids’ franchise show will move to HBO Max next year along with a number of yet-to-be-named spin-off series.
- The Boondocks. This animated series ran on Adult Swim for nearly a decade before it was canceled in 2014. Two new seasons of the show are making their way to HBO Max and all 24 episodes of the original show will be available as well.
- Circe. This fantasy story that follows the adventures of legendary sorceress Circe will be based on Madeline Miller’s book.
- DC Super Hero High. This comedy is about teens with super powers, who come of age while trying to find their place in high school.
- College Girls. Three female college roommates navigate their first year of college together. Mindy Kaling of The Office fame will be writing the series and will also be the showrunner.
- The Flight Attendant. Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) stars as a protagonist Cassandra Bowden, a flight attendant with a drinking problem. After she blacks out and wakes up next to a dead body, she struggles to find out what happened.
- The Fungies. An inquisitive young mushroom named Seth had adventures in Fungietown.
- Gossip Girl. This reboot revisits the world of the CW drama of the same name, which concluded seven years ago. Like the original series, the plot revolves around a group of New York private school teens.
- Love Life. This unique series follows a different protagonist each season in their quest to find love.
- Made for Love. This show attempts to answer the question: what if you found out that the person you’ve been living with for 10 years planted a monitoring device in your brain?
- Search Party. Originally a TBS show, Search Party is a dark comedy about a quirky New York City girl’s quest to find a missing friend.
- Starstruck. New Zealand comedian Rose Matafeo plays the role of an awkward, unlucky woman from London that finds out that she’s been sleeping with a movie star.
- Station Eleven. This apocalyptic tale explores what happens after a swine flu wipes out most of the world’s human population.
- Strange Adventures. Little is known about this series so far except that it will feature super heroes from the DC comic book universe.
- Tig ‘n Seek. This kid-oriented detective story follows the adventures of a boy named Tiggy and his genius sidekick cat Gweeseek.
- Tooned Out. After Mac– the protagonist of this hybrid live-action / animated series– starts hallucinating cartoon characters in everyday life, chaos ensues.
HBO Originals – Docuseries, Game Shows and Reality TV
In addition to scripted shows, there will also be plenty of casual TV entertainment for HBO Max viewers to enjoy.
Birth, Wedding, Funeral
CNN’s Lisa Ling investigates how various cultures navigate three of humanity’s most important rituals. Little is known about the series so far, except that it will be hosted by Ling and that each episode will take place in a different country.
In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult killed themselves because they believed that their spirits would hitch a ride on an alien spacecraft. The four-part docuseries explores what investigators have learned about the tragic event more than 20 years later.
This 10-part docuseries about money-motivated millennial examines the lengths that some young people will go to to achieve their lofty ambitions. Esquire magazine recently suggested that the show’s executive producer Alex Gibney is “becoming the most important documentarian of our time.”
Other docuseries, game shows and reality TV series
- Brad & Gary Go To… Writer Gary Janetti and stylist Brad Goreski travel around the world in search of delicious food and enlightening cultural experiences.
- Craftopia. Hosted by YouTuber LaurDIY, this six-episode game show has 9 to 15-year-olds compete to accomplish various crafting challenges.
- Ellen’s Home Design Challenge. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres pits eight home designers against each other and challenges them to come up with creative home design solutions.
- Equal. This docuseries explores the lives of various little-known leaders of the LGBTQ movement.
- First Dates Hotel. Inspired by the British dating show First Dates, First Dates Hotel takes a look at what happens after a series of single people get to know each other at a boutique hotel.
- Full Bloom. Various American florists compete to find out who can design the wildest and most creative floral arrangements.
- The Greatest Space. Two-person design teams face off to transform the most barren, ugly rooms into extravagant, eye-popping centerpieces.
- The Ho’s. This reality show follows the lives of the Hos, a wealthy family that immigrated to Houston from Vietnam.
- Karma. Sixteen teenagers attempt to overcome mental and physical challenges while simultaneously remaining focused, giving, humble and patient.
- Legendary. Ten groups of aspiring fashion and design professionals try to win a cash prize by competing in various challenges.
HBO Originals – Feature Films
Untitled Anthony Bourdain Documentary
From the outside, chef and Parts Unknown host Anthony Bourdain’s life seemed to be a perfect– until he committed suicide. The film will celebrate Bourdain’s life and explore the lasting positive impact that he made on the TV industry, friends and family.
Let Them All Talk
Meryl Streep plays the role of a successful author that decides to go on a trip to come to terms with her past and reunite with old friends.
Melissa McCarthy (Ghostbusters, Spy) stars as an average woman that struggles to stop a powerful hyper-intelligent artificial intelligence from taking over the world.
After a seventeen-year-old girl named Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) gets pregnant because her boyfriend had poked holes in his condom, she enlists the help of her ex-best friend Bailey. They decide to travel to the nearest abortion clinic together, which is 900 miles away.
Alex Munkachy is a freelance writer, game developer and hobby robotics enthusiast. You can find his blog about robotics news and reviews at robotfanatics.com.