There is no shortage of streaming services available, and yet still, Warner Media is launching one called HBO Max.
HBO Max combines all of HBO's offerings with Warner Bros movies and Turner TV shows. It also includes originals and programming from Warner Media's other brands. HBO's existing services, HBO Now and HBO Go, are still available and differ from HBO Max (see our comparison guide here). While they each offer HBO content, only HBO Max has original content plus Warner Media content.
In a nutshell, unlike HBO Go, HBO Max doesn't require a cable login, and it's the same price as HBO Now. Here's what you need to know.
HBO Max: Release date
- 27 May 2020 launch in US
- 2021 launch in Latin America
HBO Max fully launches in the US on 27 May 2020.
Eventually, HBO Max will come to Latin America and Europe. Latin America will get HBO Max first, starting sometime in 2021.
HBO Max: Price
- $14.99 a month
HBO Max costs $14.99 per month. (That's the same price as HBO Now.) There's no word yet on UK pricing or availability.
Since HBO Max offers more to watch than HBO Now and HBO Go, WarnerMedia and AT&T are hoping users of both those services will upgrade to HBO Max. Existing HBO subscribers on AT&T and HBO Now direct billing subscribers get HBO Max for free. Customers who subscribe to AT&T’s premium video, mobile, and broadband packages can also get bundles with HBO Max for free.
HBO Max: Shows and movie lineup
Anything you can watch on HBO, HBO Now, and HBO Go is available on HBO Max. But, HBO Max also exclusively has new original content called Max Originals. You can even access programming from Warner Media's other brands, such as Warner Bros, New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, and Cartoon Network.
HBO library and new content
It has HBO's entire existing catalogue, including Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies, and of course, anything new on the network. Here are a few projects headed to HBO (and therefore HBO Max) in 2020 and 2021:
- Stephen King’s The Outsider: A dark mystery starring Ben Mendelsohn, produced and directed by Jason Bateman.
- Lovecraft Country: A unique horror series based on a novel by Matt Ruff, written and executive produced by Misha Green, and executive produced by Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams.
- The Nevers: Joss Whedon’s new science fiction series starring Laura Donnelly.
- The Gilded Age: The opulent world of 1885 New York from Downton Abbey’s' Julian Fellowes.
- Avenue 5: High satire aboard a space-bound cruise ship from Armando Iannucci (Veep), starring Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad.
- The Undoing: A psychological thriller from David E. Kelley, directed by Susanne Bier starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant.
- The Plot Against America: A reimagined history based on Phillip Roth’s novel written and executive produced by David Simon and Ed Burns, starring Winona Ryder and John Turturro.
- Perry Mason: The classic legal drama for a new generation, executive produced by Robert Downey Jr and Susan Downey, with Matthew Rhys in the title role.
- I Know This Much Is True: A complex family drama starring Mark Ruffalo playing twin brothers, one of whom has schizophrenia, based on the best-selling novel by Wally Lamb, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance.
- House of the Dragon: A Game of Thrones spin-off based on George RR Martin’s book of Westerosi history, Fire and Blood.
HBO has new original content dubbed Max Originals. As part of this effort, it has an exclusive movie deal with Reese Witherspoon's production company, Hello Sunshine. Here are the Max Originals that have been announced:
- Dune: The Sisterhood: An adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s book Dune, from director Denis Villeneuve.
- Tokyo Vice: Based on Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort.
- The Flight Attendant: A one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, which will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti.
- Love Life: A 10-episode half-hour romantic comedy anthology series starring “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick, who will also executive produce alongside Paul Feig.
- Station Eleven: A postapocalyptic limited series based on Emily St John Mandel’s international bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville and directed by Hiro Murai.
- Made for Love: A 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Somerville and directed by SJ Clarkson.
- Gremlins: An animated series from Warner Bros Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie.
HBO plans to launch 31 Max Originals series. So, when combined with HBO series, that means there will be 69 original shows on HBO Max in its first year. Half of them, reportedly, will be targeted at a young adult audience,
Other movies and shows
There will be shows and movies from the DC Universe, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema, TNT, TBS, and more. All 236 episodes of Friends are set to be available on HBO Max, as are hit series like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene. In fact, HBO Max is the exclusive streaming home for The CW.
Because HBO Max offers a selection of DC Universe content, you'll get access to a new DC Entertainment series, called Batwoman, and more. Arrow and Riverdale producer Greg Berlanti is also working on new DC Comics-related titles, Green Lantern and Strange Adventures.
Even Adult Swim and Looney Tunes will be available.
Most recently, HBO announced HBO Max will host a new documentary on Anthony Bourdain, a documentary about Amy Schumer, a Melissa McCarthy comedy, a documentary with Monica Lewinsky, and other works as part of a new deal with JK Abrams’ Bad Robot.
HBO said Elizabeth Banks, Issa Rae, and Mindy Kaling are also all developing new shows for the service. Finally, HBO Max is the exclusive streaming home of South Park. In all, HBO Max expects to have 10,000 hours of content at launch.
HBO Max: Device support
HBO said HBO Max is available on a "very wide array of devices," including phones, tablets, the web, smart TVs, and game consoles.