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No Second Season For Wilmington-filmed Swamp Thing

By Johanna Cano and Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jun 6, 2019
Crew members have been told that DC Universe’s Swamp Thing, which was shot in Wilmington and at EUE/Screen Gems Studio, will not be picked up for another season, officials said Thursday.

Wilmington Regional Film Commission Director Johnny Griffin said that while he has not gotten word directly from officials about the news, he has heard from two cast members, whom he could not name, that the show will not see a second season.

Crew members received emails Wednesday about the decision.

Griffin said he isn’t sure why the production will not have another season.

Swamp Thing recently wrapped its first season filming in Wilmington. The first episode of the show aired Friday on DC Universe, a streaming service by Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment.

The show had originally planned to shoot 13 episodes but was capped at 10 episodes after DC Universe officials decided to put its production on hold.

According to a news release from the N.C. Department of Commerce, the project is eligible for a rebate of up to $12 million from the state’s film grant for the first-season work.

A grant application form for Swamp Thing, filed with the N.C. Department of Commerce, estimated the production's spending at $65 million in the state, in addition to the about $20 million spent on its pilot. Crew numbers were estimated at 597.

The production requested about $16 million in grant funding.

Swamp Thing filmed in locations around the Wilmington area, including Greenfield Lake, and was based out of EUE/Screen Gems Studios, according to the release.

Reprisal, a show to be streamed on Hulu, is currently filming in the area and has plans to film on June 14 at Jimbo's Diner, according to filming permits.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said he was disappointed that Swamp Thing would not be picked up for another season.

"As a community with a filming industry, we have had a number of productions that have filmed here and some have made it; some haven’t," Saffo said. "This one didn’t. For one reason or another, the executives decided not to film another season. Not all film projects will be mega-hits like One Tree Hill."

Despite the show's end, it still made an impact in the area.

"The good news is they spent $80 million and employed a significant amount of people in the community," Saffo said. "I am optimistic that in the near future we will have productions ramp up in the Wilmington area. We still have money in the film grant program and with news about Georgia, we will pick up some more business."

Georgia's recently signed abortion law received reactions from some artists and filming studios, including Netflix, which officials said they would rethink Georgia shoots if the measure, which denies an abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, is not reversed.

City officials have been working with producers about possible future projects coming to Wilmington.

"We are in talks with a lot of different production companies right now to do filming in the Wilmington area," Saffo said. "We feel confident and optimistic about the overall health of the industry." 

More on the state of Wilmington's film industry is discussed in a story on the upcoming June 7 issue of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, which went to press before news that Swamp Thing would not be picked up again.
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