Upcoming US streaming service HBO Max has revealed its second wave of programming that's coming after launch, this summer. And honestly, it's much more exciting than the launch line-up. More of its own originals will roll out across June, July and August, including its first original movie, An American Pickle starring Seth Rogen, which arrives on 6 August.
Other originals coming in the summer include DC Comics show Doom Patrol season 2 (25 June), mystery drama Search Party season 3 (25 June), Close Enough (9 July), Amy Schumer documentary series Expecting Amy (9 July), House of Ho (16 July), Frayed (30 July), The Dog House (30 July), Karma (18 August), Adventure Time Distant Lands (25 June), Esme & Roy (25 June) and Tig and Seek (23 July).
HBO Max has also announced a bunch more older movies arriving on day one, which include some of the greatest films ever made (note: we are not talking about Braveheart):
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- An American in Paris
- Blade Runner: The Final Cut
- Blood Diamond
- Citizen Kane
- Friday the 13th
- Gone with the Wind
- A Hard Day’s Night
- Lethal Weapon
- Monsters Vs. Aliens
- A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise
- North by Northwest
- Rebel without a Cause
- Singin' in the Rain
- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
- V for Vendetta
But that's not the really the content that makes HBO Max's summer so exciting, even if it is a significant boost to its already announced library. In case you didn't already know, HBO Max is also the home of everything made by premium cable channel HBO, and that includes its entire line-up coming over the next few months. This is where the offering starts to get really impressive.
These include the final fourth season of oddball anthology Room 104, the documentary I'll Be Gone in the Dark and sitcom I May Destroy You. Every future HBO show will premiere on HBO Max as it airs.
Picking out two major highlights, though, let's first look at Lovecraft Country, which has been in the works for a long time. Produced by Jordan Peele, the show is an adaptation of an acclaimed novel by Matt Ruff that blends the backdrop of a '50s America rife with racism and Lovecraft-style horror. Check out a trailer for that, which starts in August:
Secondly, HBO has a new version of detective/legal drama Perry Mason coming up starting on June 21. This features Matthew Rhys of The Americans in the lead role, with Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany also starring. The trailer looks pulpy, fun and expensive:
Anyone streaming HBO Max on day one will have all of these to enjoy, along with classic HBO content like Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Sopranos.
Can HBO Max take on Netflix?
This programming plan is so busy it resembles Netflix's own weekly schedules of content drops, and that feels like the point. Not only do you get HBO's acclaimed dramas, miniseries and comedies, you also get a whole load of originals specifically made for the HBO Max streaming platform. And that's on top of lots of movies and shows you already know and enjoy.
It's a powerful proposition, and it'll be fascinating to see how successful it'll be, given how uncertain things are for many of us right now. HBO Max releases on May 27. You'll likely be able to stream it on every device you can name.
Pre-ordering HBO Max for a year saves you $3 per month on the standard $14.99 price. That's less than Netflix's standard plan, although not after the price reverts back to normal.
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Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.