Young Justice managed to strike a chord with its audience thanks to its mature and intelligent approach to storytelling, something that many other cartoons often lack. That's why its cancellation after only two seasons devastated fans. Fortunately, it was officially announced last year that the show will return for a third season.
However, we were left with the question of why the cancellation happened in the first place. We already knew there were several circumstances that led to it, including it having a bigger female audience than expected. But we now have one more important detail.. During a panel at last year's Convergence, Aqualad voice actor, Khary Payton, gave a detailed description of the reason behind Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series' cancellation.
Turns out it was partly due to 2011's #GreenLantern, more specifically, its failure at the box office:
"[The reason why the Young Justice toyline failed was that] 'Green Lantern' bombed at the box office. That was a big part of it. We were all kind of grouped together, when you make a toy deal all those decisions go together with all the projects that are happening. So you’ve got the 'Green Lantern' television show, and 'Young Justice', and we were all kinda bundled together with that movie. When it didn’t do very well at the box office, not that it didn’t do very well it did horribly...
... and it’s kind of like having a run on the bank, Walmart and Target were like 'stop making toys' and you can’t stop making just the 'Green Lantern' toys, it’s everything that was bundled in there. So when they turned that one off the faucet turned off on all of those projects and all the toys that were funding 'Young Justice' and 'Green Lantern: The Animated Series'."
Green Lantern was made on a $200 million budget and earned $219 million at the box office, which, considering that's just an estimated budget and doesn't include marketing, means the studio actually lost money on the film. Of course, like stated above, keep in mind that Green Lantern was not the sole culprit behind the show getting axed. Young Justice creator #GregWeisman followed up the actor's comments by revealing that Young Justice toys themselves were not selling well.
He stated there were two different lines based on the series and they ended up cannibalizing each other. This backed up what he previously said during an appearance on the Hip-Hop Nerd podcast in January of 2016:
"The show's funding was based on a toy deal with Mattel. The toys were not selling enough so Mattel cancelled the toy line, pulling the funding for the show. With no sources of income large enough to replace the money from Mattel, the show was not picked up for a third season."
So it looks like Green Lantern was just the final push for everything to go awry for this amazing series. I have to say, it's really interesting to know that #RyanReynolds' famous flop had such a big role in not only delaying Deadpool for so long but also in Young Justice's cancellation.
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Still, let's look on the bright side: #YoungJusticeSeason3 is currently in production, and while there's no set date for its release, we'll get to see our favorite young heroes in action once again really soon.