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It’s now just Max: all of the news from Warner Bros. Discovery’s reveal event

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The rumors were true: Warner Bros. Discovery’s revamped streaming service combining HBO Max and Discovery Plus is just called Max.

The company announced the new name at a big press event on Wednesday, where it also discussed why it’s dropping the “HBO” branding from the name and previewed some of the shows you’ll be able to watch on the new service. There are a lot of new shows on the way, including The Penguin, True Detective: Night Country (the show’s fourth season), and even an animated series focused on Gremlins.

Here’s our coverage of the news from the event.

    Emma Roth

    Apr 12

    Emma Roth

    HBO and Discovery’s ‘Max’ streaming service is here

    The time has come: HBO Max and Discovery Plus are merging to create a combined streaming service called “Max.” During an event Wednesday, Warner Bros. Discovery announced the new service will launch on May 23rd and cost up to $19.99 per month with two cheaper tiers priced at $15.99 and $9.99.

    “Max is the one to watch,” CEO David Zaslav said. “It’s the one to watch because it’s the place every member of the household can go to see exactly what they want at any given time.”

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  • Wes Davis

    May 27

    Wes Davis

    Max’s film credit kerfuffle is gonna take a while.

    Max lumped several categories into a ‘Creators’ label not out of grumpiness about the WGA strike, but because Warner Bros. Discovery’s IT people didn’t have time to do it right, says a new report in Deadline (via AVClub).

    So they just smashed them all together, and the executives didn’t know until it happened. Untangling it could take weeks. Ah, Hanlon’s Razor.

  • I think Max is definitely a top-two streaming service pick next year.

    In our inaugural Vergecast Streaming Service Draft, HBO Max was the #2 pick — and that was before today’s big combination with Discovery. Give it a year, and this could absolutely be the service to beat. But good luck catching TikTok!

  • Rick and Morty’s getting the anime treatment later this year.

    Adult Swim and Warner Bros. have yet to announce who will be taking over voicing duties for Rick and Morty’s eponymous duo following Justin Roiland’s ouster earlier this year. But tucked into today’s big Max presentation was the tiniest mention of Rick and Morty: The Anime, suggesting that we’ll be hearing some new voices by year’s end.

  • It’s Kate Winslet against the free world in The Chancellor’s first teaser.

    You’d be hard pressed the name the fictional country Kate Winslet will rule over with a dictatorial iron fist in HBO’s upcoming series The Regime from Will Tracy. But her willingness to do whatever it takes to maintain power is quite clear in the series’ teaser that dropped during today’s big Max reveal.

  • Max is giving us the ‘SmartLess’ docuseries we never asked for.

    Max, the family-friendly rebrand of HBO Max, released a trailer for upcoming six-part series SmartLess: On the Road. The docuseries will go behind the scenes of the popular (if toothless) podcast hosted by Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes. And it’s shot in black and white, so you know they mean business.

  • The service formerly known as HBO Max has a Gremlins problem.

    Just a few weeks ahead of its May 23rd debut on the newly-rebranded Max, there’s a new trailer for Tze Chun’s Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, a Gremlins prequel set to delve into Gizmo’s history and, you know, mogwai secrets.

  • Max is charging more money for 4K, and that means it can’t suck this time

    An image of the price tiers for Max, the successor to HBO Max.
    Things just got a little pricier.

    Max, the successor to HBO Max, might be getting a little more serious about 4K content. At an event today, Warner Bros. Discovery detailed its plans for the new app, including how the migration of accounts will work and what kind of new content will be appearing on the service. The company also announced an additional paid tier for $19.99 that will allow for more concurrent streams and 4K. It better not mess this up.

    The first two tiers will keep their current prices. For $9.99, you’ll get two concurrent ad-supported streams at HD quality. For $15.99, you’ll lose the ads and be allowed to download up to 30 pieces of content at a time, but you’ll no longer get access to 4K. Finally, for $19.99, you’ll get 4K with HDR and Dolby Atmos, four concurrent streams, and up to 100 downloads.

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  • Jodie Foster’s going to make you believe in True Detective again.

    In its fourth season, True Detective’s heading to Alaska to tell the story of how six men vanish from a research lab in the Arctic. While that premise alone is compelling as hell, it still doesn’t quite capture raw energy Jodie Foster’s radiating in the season’s new teaser trailer.

  • Apr 12

    Alex Cranz and Emma Roth

    Game of Thrones is getting another prequel, and its plot sounds very familiar

    An image showing the Game of Thrones announcement at Warner Bros. Discovery’s presentation
    Screenshot: Jake Kastrenakes / The Verge

    The Game of Thrones franchise is getting a new entry on Warner Bros. Discovery’s newly-announced Max streaming service. The new prequel, called A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: the Hedge Knight, has been rumored for some time, but it wasn’t clear which part of the ample Game of Thrones lore it would borrow from.

    At today’s HBO Max rebranding event, HBO head Casey Bloys confirmed that the new show has been ordered straight to series and would focus on Dunk and Egg. In the world of Game of Thrones, Dunk is a famous knight, and Egg is his squire, both of whom travel the land righting wrongs.

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  • A ‘decade-long’ Harry Potter series is coming to Max

    Warner Bros. Discovery is officially working on a Harry Potter series for its new streaming service, Max. The series was recently rumored to be in development, and now we know that it’s officially on the way.

    In a press release, the company says it will be a “decade-long series produced with the same epic craft, love and care this global franchise is known for.” The show will have a new cast playing the series’ iconic characters, and Warner Bros. Discovery promises that “each season will be authentic to the original books.” The original movies will still be “available to watch globally,” even with this new show in development.

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  • Love & Translation is basically that Duolingo reality dating show minus the owl

    The trailer for Love & Translation

    While it was clearly in development long before Duolingo’s very funny and compelling April Fools’ joke, Love & Translation is definitely going to get a lot of comparisons to the viral ad. That’s because they’re basically the same thing.

    In the new show, three men who only speak English look for love amongst 12 women who don’t speak any English at all, which is... a little cringier than the Duolingo gag. Also, there’s no green owl looming in the distance and trying to teach people to new languages so they can better communicate.

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  • Gotham has a new king in Max’s first Penguin teaser

    In Matt Reeves’ The Batman, Oswald Cobblepot was still just a two-bit criminal working for other, bigger crime lords who kept Gotham PD on their toes. But in the first teaser trailer for Max’s upcoming Penguin spinoff series starring Colin Farrell, Cobblepot’s well on his way to making it in the big leagues (of villainy).

    Though the Batman himself doesn’t make an appearance in The Penguin’s new teaser revealed today during the official unveiling of Max, it’s clear from all the back alley dealings and shootouts that Cobblepot’s getting into that Gotham’s as seedy as ever and still a hotbed for criminal activity. Because of all the chaos, it seems very much like Gotham’s in one of its more lawless phases, where even the city’s worst villains live in a constant state of fear that they won’t live to see the next day. But in that chaos, Penguin seems to sense an opportunity to secure true greatness for himself.

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  • Warner Bros. Discovery explains why it’s dropping the HBO Max name

    An illustration of the HBO Max logo with “HBO” scribbled out.
    The official logo doesn’t actually look like this.
    Illustration: The Verge

    Warner Bros. Discovery’s revamped subscription service is just called “Max,” and the company explained why it dropped the HBO branding at a press event on Wednesday. A key reason was to help Warner Bros. Discovery broaden the appeal of the app so that it’s not mostly targeted at content for adults.

    “We want [Max] to be welcoming to all and easily recognizable, including to a key customer segment, kids and families,” JB Perrette, president and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery’s global streaming and games, said at the event. “We all love HBO. And it’s a brand that has been built over five decades to be the edgy, groundbreaking trendsetter in entertainment for adults. But it’s not exactly where parents would most eagerly drop off their kids.”

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  • I regret to inform you that The Big Bang Theory persists.

    I know we all rejoiced when The Big Bang Theory went off the air in 2019 after 12 seasons. But it brings me no joy to inform you that more is coming. The details are scant, but a new show set in the universe was announced at Warner Bros. Discovery’s big HBO Max rebranding event today....bazinga.

  • Is HBO Max about to turn into ‘Max’?

    Warner Bros. Discovery is about to tell us the answer, but all signs point to yes. The company is hosting a 1PM ET event to “discuss the upcoming enhanced direct-to-consumer streaming product,” and you can watch the live webcast here.

  • The one where we tried to pick all the best streaming services

    A list of favorite streaming services with TikTok, HBO Max, and two mystery picks.
    Image: The Verge

    What’s the best streaming service? It feels like a big and important question to answer. It’s also a completely impossible, completely subjective question that depends on everything from your budget to your favorite Mission: Impossible movie. The streaming market is a teeming mass of stuff, with various platforms rising and falling, and nothing ever stays the same for very long.

    But here at The Verge, we like answers. So, for this episode of The Vergecast, we decided to answer that big question the only way we know how: chaotically and at great length. So we held the first annual Vergecast Streaming Services Draft, in which our three co-hosts each drafted their top five streaming services. There were surprises from the very beginning, lots of arguments throughout, and definitely no condoning of piracy. We would never.

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  • How HBO’s creatives survived corporate chaos

    Felix Gillette and John Koblin look at the camera.
    Photo by Carter Mathisen; Photo illustration by Will Joel / The Verge

    HBO started as an experiment. It was a way to get people to switch from getting TV over broadcast antennas to cable by offering events you’d otherwise need tickets to see: sports, plays, movies. That’s where the name Home Box Office comes from.

    But it grew from there in surprising ways: HBO was a major innovator in satellite distribution, in working with cable operators around the country, and of course in programming. The company’s taste and style have influenced and shaped culture for a generation now. And importantly, HBO did it without any real data: the cable companies owned all the subscribers, so HBO made decisions through instinct and experience.

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  • Chris Welch

    Dec 5, 2022

    Chris Welch

    The combined HBO and Discovery app will reportedly just be called ‘Max’

    An illustration of the HBO Max logo with “HBO” scribbled out.
    Illustration: The Verge

    When HBO Max and Discovery Plus merge into a single app next spring, the new platform will simply be called “Max.” That’s according to a report from CNBC, which notes that while a final decision hasn’t been made, Max “is the likely choice” and is being vetted by Warner Bros. Discovery’s legal team. The lawyers are also mulling over other potential names, according to the report, and the combined streaming service has been given the codename “BEAM” internally.

    The reasoning for the “Max” name is simple: Warner Bros. Discovery wants HBO to fit into its huge stable of content without overshadowing programming from Discovery, DC Comics, Warner Bros., CNN, and more. CNBC’s report says the new platform will borrow ideas from Disney Plus and organize Warner Bros. Discovery properties into different “hubs” in the same way that Disney separates Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and so on.

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  • Warner Bros. Discovery is effectively killing Cartoon Network

    A boy and a girl standing at a makeshift countertop in the woods, and judgmentally staring at another unseen child off-camera.
    Craig and Kit expressing their displeasure with another Creek Kid
    Image: Cartoon Network

    Along with making Warner Bros. Discovery a less-diverse place overall, CEO David Zaslav’s latest bit of corporate restructuring is probably going to gut Cartoon Network and turn it into a shadow of its former self.

    For understandable reasons, Warner Bros. Discovery’s move to fire 82 employees and eliminate 43 open positions from its Television division grabbed headlines when news of the decision broke earlier this week. But the implications of the company’s plan to merge Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios may be much larger than what Warner Bros. Television CEO Channing Dungey recently implied in a company-wide internal memo.

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  • Apr 8, 2022

    Catie Keck

    WarnerMedia and Discovery have completed their mega-streaming merger

    The parents of HBO Max and Discovery Plus have officially completed their merger, allowing WarnerMedia and Discovery to build what the companies have said will be “the most differentiated content portfolio in the world.”

    Investors today approved the multibillion-dollar deal that will allow AT&T, WarnerMedia’s current owner, to offload its content powerhouse to Discovery and form a new business under the name Warner Bros. Discovery. This new business, the companies said last year, “will be able to invest in more original content for its streaming services, enhance the programming options across its global linear pay TV and broadcast channels, and offer more innovative video experiences and consumer choices.”

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