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Why ‘Man of Steel’ is missing in HBO Max

HBO Max contains every movie from the DCEU except for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Here’s why Henry Cavill’s solo Superman movie is missing.

The entire library of DC Extended Universe movies is available on HBO Max, but here’s why Man of Steel isn’t included. A few years after the launch of DC Universe, WarnerMedia has officially entered the streaming wars with HBO Max. The service brings together movies and TV shows from throughout Warner Bros. history, including the prestigious content HBO offers. In addition to their own library, HBO Max also is littered with content from Disney and WB’s other competitors.

One of WB’s biggest brands though is DC, and they pushed the inclusion of Joker and DCEU titles throughout the marketing. The DCEU section on HBO Max gives subscribers access to Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeWonder WomanJustice LeagueAquaman, and Shazam! at launch. This notably leaves Man of Steel out, even though it launched the DCEU in 2013. Although Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is also missing, it is believed to not be on HBO Max due to the home release model and could be available soon. As for Man of Steel, it is missing from HBO Max for an entirely different reason.

Man of Steel not being available on HBO Max is likely the result of prior licensing deals WB made that give another studio, streaming service, or cable channel the exclusive rights to the film. Man of Steel is available to rent on Amazon Video, iTunes, Vudu, and more, but it isn’t available to stream on Netflix, Hulu, or any other competitive streaming service either. Instead, the film’s home, for the time being, appears to be on cable. FX bought the TV rights to Man of Steel the week after it was released in theaters in 2013. The deal might’ve happened almost seven years ago, but it is still in effect now, as FX has showings of Man of Steel on its schedule multiple days in early June 2020.

It isn’t yet known when Man of Steel will arrive on HBO Max, but WB has already shown that a situation like this can be resolved quickly if need be. The Harry Potter movies weren’t scheduled to be on HBO Max when it launched and were believed to be heading to NBC’s Peacock service later this year. However, deals were made behind the scenes to bring one of WB’s biggest franchises over for day one of HBO Max. It is possible that a similar deal could be struck for Man of Steel in the near future to complete the DCEU’s presence on the service soon.

Until that day comes, subscribers of HBO Max will have access to hundreds of titles that range from Looney Tunes to Die Hard, as well as the entire Harry Potter franchise to Alien. The presence of the DCEU will grow as time passes too, and not just because Birds of Prey should arrive later this year. WarnerMedia made a huge splash days before HBO Max launched with the announcement that the Snyder Cut of Justice League will arrive in 2021. By the time Henry Cavill appears again as Superman in Snyder’s version of the film, hopefully HBO Max will be able to offer subscribers all of the movies he’s been in, Man of Steel included.


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