How does HBO feel about superhero movies? Well, one week after parent company Warner Bros. Discovery canceled the HBO Max-exclusive Batgirl film, the network has ordered The Franchise, a comedy series from Armando Iannucci that satirizes the making of a superhero flick.

Written by Iannucci, Jon Brown, and Keith Akushie, The Franchise follows a movie crew hoping to make the next superhero blockbuster. Of course, now more than ever, we know that whether such a film will flop or flourish is not just about the story, but about the desires of a money-hungry industry. Brown serves as executive producer and showrunner of the series, and Marina Hyde is attached as another writer and executive producer. Sam Mendes is set to direct the pilot.

Iannucci is no stranger to satire, as the writer masterminded the political comedy VeepAs for Mendes, known for such films as American Beauty, Spectreand 1917, The Franchise marks the American Beauty director’s television directorial debut.


News of HBO’s The Franchise comes after new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav backtracked on the company’s plan to create a slew of streaming-exclusive DC Extended Universe films. In the future, the recently merged companies plan to re-launch their two streaming platforms, HBO Max and Discovery+, as a single service, projected to roll out in the U.S. in Summer 2023.