The streaming series “Swamp Thing,” produced in Wilmington and co-starring Jeryl Prescott, a former Winston-Salem resident, has been canceled after only one episode aired.
The series is shown on DC Universe, a streaming service that carries titles related to DC Comics, including new programs and reruns of classic shows such as “Wonder Woman” and “Shazam.” New episodes of “Swamp Thing” are posted on the service each Friday. “Swamp Thing” is the story of a scientist in the Louisiana bayou transformed into a hulking but intelligent monster.
Prescott played Madame Xanadu, an enigmatic blind fortune teller with supernatural abilities. She was only seen briefly in the first episode but has a larger role in the second episode, which is scheduled to be released today. She previously appeared in such shows as “The Walking Dead,” “Powers” and “Ray Donovan,” and the feature films “The Skeleton Key” and “Stand Down Soldier,” which was screened during the National Black Theatre Festival.
“Swamp Thing” was met with favorable critical response, but may have fallen victim to changes in North Carolina’s film grant funding. A report in the Wilmington Star News says that the grant in the 2019-20 fiscal year budget for that program was cut back after what one legislator called a “miscommunication” over how much money remained from the previous year.
According to the N.C. Department of Commerce, the series was eligible for a rebate of up to $12 million through the grant program. But reports about the show on sites such as CBR (Comic Book Resources) indicate that WarnerMedia, the producers of the series, had expected a $40 million tax rebate on the show, which cost about $80 million for the whole season. Back in April, the show ended production earlier than expected when its first-season order was trimmed from 13 to 10 episodes. “Once the error was discovered, WarnerMedia shut down production since the studio would be paying more for the series than it originally thought,” according to CBR.com.
DC Universe will presumably continue airing the 10-episode first season that was already filmed but will not proceed with a second season. The service also produces other new live action shows, including “Titans” and “Doom Patrol,” and animated programming.
The N.C. Department of Commerce said earlier this week that “Swamp Thing” and another Wilmington-area project, the movie “Uncle Frank,” were expected to “generate a direct in-state spend of more than $75 million” and create more than 1,500 job opportunities in the state.