Swamp Thing Showrunner

EXCLUSIVE: Swamp Thing Showrunner Clears Up Cancellation Stories About The DC TV Show

Swamp Thing was a highly anticipated show coming to what was called the DC Universe streaming service. The trailers were dark and showed us fans what we expect from a Swamp Thing live-action series. After the first episode premiered back in 2019, an announcement came that was shocking to all of us. The show was canceled, and fans were confused. What happened for this series to be taken away? We heard conflicting stories over the years, and the showrunner of Swamp Thing is giving her perspective on it.

During his interview on The Showrunner Whisper with Andy Behbakht, Mark Verheiden revealed what was true and false about all the stories out there about the series’ cancellation.

TSW: What went down with why Swamp Thing didn’t go forward when it seemed like a no-brainer – it’s a success, people are loving it, what was the story behind that?

MARK: I think the one thing I’d like to clear up is this idea that somehow the show was wildly over budget. The other one I’ve heard is that the state of North Carolina had rigged on its tax breaks – neither of those are true at all, and they’re an insult to our producers, who did a fantastic job keeping the show on track budget-wise. I just don’t like hearing that at all. It never had a chance to really show what it could do because we were canceled the day after the first episode came out so on streaming. The short version is I don’t really know why things went down the way they did. We never got a particularly expansive answer to that. Sometimes bad things happen, I’m sure there were reasons, it was not a cheap show. Warner Brothers was going through yet another one of its reorganizations, which it seems to do every year and a half now.

There may have just been a fundamental misunderstanding about the show we were making versus the show they were expecting although there were certainly no secrets about the show we were making. James Wan is not the guy who makes Barbie. He makes horror shows, and Gary Dauberman, he’s not crafting Hallmark shows – he’s doing Annabel and the Salem’s Lot, so they knew what they were buying – I’ve never been quite sure, and at this point, I don’t really care because it’s water under the bridge. Virtually everyone involved in those decisions has gone off to other things, and as the world turns, you can’t be mad at anybody because they’re all gone anyway. Also, anger is a bad emotion that eats you up.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a clear understanding as to why it happened. It’s also unfortunate that the showrunner wasn’t notified either. The series had a great balance in its tone, and it wasn’t afraid to be as dark as it should be. The series ends in a way to set up more stories, and it seems we will never get to see it. Swamp Thing is going to be a part of James Gunn’s DCU he is currently building. Thankfully the character isn’t being pushed to the side, but this version from the series is.

Us fans did get a brief glimpse at Swamp Thing in the Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover event later in 2019 into 2020. Footage used of Swamp Thing was just pulled from the show. Still, it was nice to see the series acknowledged in the larger universe of DC during the crossover. The show will go down as one of those gems that people discover over time. It’s a great watch, and glad that Verheiden was able to speak about it on The Showrunner Whisperer.

Check out his full interview here!