It looked to be the most interesting of the three DC Universe original series to have aired thus far, an adaptation of the acclaimed “Swamp Thing” comic which would stay very true to the source material’s horror roots with the help of horror heavyweight producers like James Wan, Gary Dauberman and Mark Verheiden.
However, despite the critical praise and great fan reception, the show was cancelled after just one episode. The axing was a surprise, but even more of one was the production of the first season being unexpectedly halted and retooled – curbing the show’s original thirteen episode order to just ten.
The decisions seem to be purely choices at an executive level where confusion, fear and uncertainty over the future of the boutique streaming service have come into play. Those working on the set were as caught off guard as the rest of us. Series star Derek Mears, who plays the titular beastie, has spoken to Collider’s horror podcast The Witching Hour and opened up about his reactions. Firstly he talks about the cancellation:
“It was such a heartbreaker to find out after our first episode that we got cancelled for the second season, but all we’ve heard up until that point was how amazing everything was. And everyone’s going, ‘We have a big hit on our hands. This is crazy.’ … So it’s a weird nebulous space that we’re all in now because we don’t know officially why that would happen, or why they cancelled it. Even if you are going to cancel it, wouldn’t you wait until later on until to see how it plays with fans before? So, something’s going on somewhere.”
Mears then discussed what happened when the series order was cut from 13 to 10 episodes in the middle of filming:
“We were on [episode] 10 when we got the call, going like, ‘Yeah, so we’re getting cut to 10 from 13,’ and we’re like, ‘What?!’ Also reading the script for 11 going, ‘No!’. I was worried at first, because we had a week or so – a week or two weeks to re-do everything and execute it so it all makes sense, and I was worried, going I don’t know how we’re going to get this all together, because we’ve been laying so many beautiful puzzle pieces, and the complexity these writers are doing is just … what a gift.
What an absolute gift to be able to perform with, and seeing what they did, and them get together and just work sleepless nights putting it all together, and handing out the script for the new ending, and going like, ‘Oh my god. This works. I don’t know how you guys did this. You guys are magicians. I am on board for this. I understand where it’s going and whatnot.’ I was just so happy, but I was, honestly, worried, because also knowing the sacrifices the cast and crew made to be there, and for each other.
I’m very proud of what we did, but also very saddened by the almost the sense of lack of respect. We have a brand new baby we worked so hard on, and having someone like slit their throat and go, ‘Here’s the baby,’ and going like, ‘Oh, you get no more baby after this” Why would you do that?.., Maybe something will switch somewhere, if something will flip, and we can all get together again. But I tell you, it’s one of the best experiences I have had, and set the bar really high for working together with a group of people.”
New episodes of “Swamp Thing” air Fridays on DC Universe.