Netflix Is Stealing A Superhero Show From HBO

The comic book adaptation of Dead Boy Detectives has moved from HBO to Netflix.

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

netflix dead boy detectives
Dead Boy Detectives in Doom Patrol

Most of the time, streaming platforms do their best to hold onto exclusive content (like the upcoming Hogwarts Legacy show) for as long as possible because having such content is the key to maintaining subscribers. Similarly, you can usually count on competing streaming platforms to refuse to help one another out. However, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Netflix is going to be receiving the DC drama Dead Boy Detectives from HBO Max in a surprise move that helps both streaming platforms.

Netflix getting Dead Boy Detectives is good news because confidence in the streaming platform has been slipping over the last year. News that the streamer lost subscribers for the first time led to Netflix losing serious money as a brand, and they reacted to that event by trying to crack down on password sharing (which ended up making them lose even more subscribers). Netflix needs as many exclusive shows and movies as they can get, and surprise acquisitions like this may go a long way towards restoring the streamer to its original glory.

While it obviously benefits Netflix to get a potentially hot property like Dead Boy Detectives, you might be asking what HBO Max gets out of this arrangement. The short answer is that moving forward, James Gunn wants to create an interconnected series of movies and television shows that will comprise the DCU in the coming years. Dead Boy Detectives doesn’t really fit Gunn’s vision, plus HBO max execs couldn’t even market the show until 2024, so making a deal with Netflix helps HBO clear the deck for the DCU while making money off this show sooner rather than later.

At first glance, giving Netflix a show like Dead Boy Detectives due to James Gunn’s preferences may sound surprising, but we have to admit that this show would probably never fit in with the universe of Peacemaker. That’s because it is being produced by Greg Berlanti, who created the Arrow series for CW and ended up executive-producing most of the Arrowverse.

Arrowverse Crossover

The showrunner for Dead Boy Detectives is Beth Schwartz, arguably best known for writing and producing Arrow, so it seems likely this new show is going to be a lot like the Arrowverse (whether that is good news or bad news is something fans can debate with the intensity only reserved for grown men fighting about comic book characters).

Now that we know we’ll be watching it on Netflix instead of HBO Max, we must admit that Dead Boy Detectives has an interesting premise: the title refers to two British teens named Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland, and they work with one of their living friends to solve mysteries and learn a bit more about themselves.

While this is only a coincidence, a show like this (which focuses on young people and spooky vibes) will be a natural fit for the streaming platform that gave us Wednesday. Only time will tell, of course, whether the dead British kids can dance as well as Jenna Ortega or if she remains in a league of her own.