One of the most awesome examples of comic book television in 2019 also happened to be one of the most doomed TV shows of this year or any other. DC Universe's Swamp Thing was as promising as big-budget series get, but the streaming service was backed into an extremely awkward cancellation announcement that arrived the very week that the series premiered. Though very little positive news has come from that situation, at least one star is keeping hopes alive that Season 2 may come to light.
Swamp Thing's Ian Ziering, who portrayed the frustration-filled Daniel "Blue Devil" Cassidy, re-inflated a lot of fans' expectations by offering up arguably the most optimistic declaration yet about Swamp Thing's future. (Or, at least its potential to actually have one.) Speaking to fan support being responsible for bringing other TV shows back, here's Ziering's take on whether it could it happen to Swamp Thing or not.
I think it’s entirely possible. . . . [The cancellation was] the biggest disappointment of my professional career. I was reliving my youth, and the fun of the 8-year-old inside of me getting to play the Blue Devil, working with Derek Mears and Crystal Reed, and all the people on that show. James Wan… it was such an unbelievable show. It’s very sad that that ended with 10 episodes, unfinished. I know they had plans for so many.
Not to be disparaging about anyone's acting legacies, but let's consider that Ian Ziering has been the star in a total of SIX different Sharknado movies for Syfy, and that he delivered the above quote to Syfy Wire while promoting his latest TV movie, Zombie Tidal Wave. In a perfect world, Swamp Thing should get at least one third as many seasons as there are Sharknado movies, right? At the very, very least.
Of course, one of the reasons why Swamp Thing looks so magnificent is because executive producers Gary Dauberman and Mark Verheiden – along with producers James Wan, Len Wiseman and Michael Clear – knowingly spent a ton of money to keep the set and special effects as realistic and pristine as possible. Alone, the massive swamp set that was built constructed presumably costs many millions of dollars, and it was reportedly budget concerns that caused producers at Warner Bros. to pull the plug early, before "so many" more episodes could come to life.
Let's just take a moment to reflect on the fact that "so many" stories were being planned for Swamp Thing, which has a super-rich comic book history that was getting remixed in masterful ways for the TV show. From creators Len Weis and Bernie Wrightson to Alan Moore to Brian K. Vaughan and more, the character's source material could have led to a bunch of seasons, had the money been there to fund them.
But is it possible another studio or network could step in to provide another avenue of funding for a second season of Swamp Thing? It's not necessarily the the most imminent scenario, and doesn't seem to be very likely from an outsider perspective, all things considered. But Ian Ziering would know things that outsiders wouldn't, so maybe a little bird is telling him that conversations are being had about resurrecting the dark drama to continue telling Abby and quasi-Alec's story. (Not to mention following up on that big post-credits sequence.)
If anyone on Swamp Thing's cast would have a good idea on getting brought back to life after being cancelled, it's Ian Ziering, who is currently starring in Fox's BH90210, a hilariously meta return to the franchise that turned him into a star. Granted, Swamp Thing likely wouldn't follow the same post-modern approach that BH90210 did, but let's just figure out a way to bring Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty to Marais, LA, shall we?
Swamp Thing star Derek Mears, who portrayed the mucky mutant when in costume, also sounded more optimistic than not when reflecting on the show's short run. In his words:
I’m so happy that the fans and critics were really enjoying the show. It’s unfortunate that it’s not moving forward and we don’t know if it’s possible in the future, but on the bright side, the cup is half-full. We got to do a 10-hour Swamp Thing movie.
For all that budget concerns may have led to Swamp Thing's demise after its first season, it's possible that other issues could stand in the way of its return for Season 2. It's possible that DC Universe and/or Warner Bros. has a contractual stipulation about when and where the Swamp Thing character can be used, similar to how Netflix's contracts won't allow its Marvel heroes to be used for reportedly two years following each of those shows' cancellations.
Plus, since DC Universe isn't up front about its viewership totals, it's not entirely clear how popular Swamp Thing has been for the streaming service. While critics and fans were super-pumped about it before and during its run, the quick cancellation news likely thwarted a ton of people from immediately tuning in like they might have otherwise, skewing the show's potential success. Perhaps that viewer threshold just wasn't large enough to justify Warner Bros. and others looking around for further financial assistance.
Currently, the Swamp Thing petition on Change.org is only at around 6,500 signatures, even though it's been live for the past two months. Compare that with the "Save Daredevil" petition, which has now topped 340,000 signatures, and it becomes slightly more obvious that the Swamp Thing fandom's voice perhaps hasn't gotten loud enough yet.
Considering both Titans and Doom Patrol were granted follow-up seasons to their excellent freshman years, not to mention Young Justice: Outsiders also getting renewed, it seems like Swamp Thing's fate could have turned out completely differently. For now, it isn't set to return for Season 2 at all, but if Ian Ziering thinks it's got a devil of a shot at coming back, we're keeping our fingers and toes crossed that positive announcements are on the way.
Swamp Thing Season 1 is currently available to stream in full on DC Universe. For those who want to check out Ian Ziering back in action as Steve Sanders, you can watch BH90210 every Wednesday night on Fox at 8:00 p.m. ET. To discover other shows hitting streaming and beyond this fall, look no further.