In a shocking announcement yesterday, Swamp Thing was cancelled barely a week after its premier on the DC Universe streaming service. The series first episode received mostly positive reviews, and fan reactions were also very positive across social media.
Initial reports were unclear on why the series was cancelled so soon after a seemingly great start, but it was later reported by series writer John Gholson that North Carolina had not provided the series with a promised tax rebate. According to Gholson, North Carolina promised a $40m tax rebate that, due to a paperwork error, they were unable to deliver. This amounts to roughly half the proposed budget for season one, which had an estimated cost of $80m.
Since Gholson’s claims were made very public on Twitter yesterday, the story has evolved once again. In a statement to CBR, Guy Gaster, the Director of the North Carolina Film Office, has essentially denied Gholson’s across the board.
According to Gaster, the state and Warner Bros. entered into their contract with both parties on the same page for how the tax breaks would function, “The production team for Swamp Thing knew before production began that North Carolina would offer up to $4.9M in rebates for their pilot episode and $12M for the remainder of season one.”
“They accepted said offer and even signed a contract with the state with those figures. Per state legislation, the NC Film and Entertainment grant can only award up to $12M per season for a series,” said Gaster. “Per the program’s guidelines, pilot episodes are counted as their own series. In total, the program only receives $31M annually.”
It appears Gholson has bowed out of further comments on the matter due to a large amount of Twitter users accusing him of costing production staff their jobs. “I don’t even understand some of it,” he tweeted. “Maybe my numbers are off, but it’s still a matter of money.”
The series’ second episode was released yesterday to mostly positive reviews (again), and saw fans across social media continuing with their #SaveSwampThing campaign. The series will conclude its ten-episode run on August 2, 2019. Until that time it will continue to air weekly on DC Universe.