The Suicide Squad is set to be one of 2021’s biggest superhero movies, but for everyone in Australia currently living in lockdown, the release of the film is bittersweet. While it technically hits theatres on Thursday, August 5, cinemas across New South Wales and Queensland are currently closed, and will remain closed for several weeks. In the United States the film is set to stream on HBO Max to avert this problem, but there’s no alternative in Australia.
With no local streaming release planned for The Suicide Squad, it means audiences will miss out on the film — and if lockdown continues in New South Wales, it could be several months before fans are able to see it.
Luckily, there is a workaround.
While accessing HBO Max in Australia is tricky, it is possible. With the use of a premium VPN and a U.S. payment method, you should be able to use the service from anywhere in the world. Here’s everything you need to know.
Which VPNs you should use to access HBO Max
According to extensive testing by Streaming Rant and How To Watch, the best VPN services for accessing HBO Max in Australia are: NordVPN, Surfshark, PureVPN and ExpressVPN. Each costs between $4 and $8 a month, so it’s not super pricy if you’re looking to access overseas content.
Once you’re signed up, these VPN services will let you connect to a remote server located in whatever country you choose. In this case, you’ll want to choose a U.S. server and head to the HBO Max website.
You’ll know if your VPN works immediately because the streaming service will throw up a blocking wall to any user that appears to be outside the United States.
Once you’re in, all you need to do is pay the subscription fee.
How to pay for a HBO Max subscription in Australia
A HBO Max subscription costs around $20.25 in Australia, but it’s not as simple as using your PayPal account.
To sign up you’ll need an actual U.S. credit card or an HBO gift card.
The simplest way to get it done is to borrow a friend’s details but if you’re lacking in overseas companionship, you can also purchase a U.S. HBO Max gift card from a store like MyGiftCardSupply and use it to pay for a subscription.
Currently these do appear to be out of stock online, but check back in future and you might be in luck.
Alternatively, you can access most HBO content on Binge, Stan or Foxtel
While major Warner Bros. films are not currently streaming in Australia, you can still access the vast majority of HBO’s content on Binge and Stan in Australia. Both streaming services are available locally for $10 a month each, and feature major shows from across the HBO library.
Binge does have more than Stan, but there’s still plenty to watch across both services — including smash hits like Barry (Binge), which recently began filming its third season.
If you don’t want to go through the rigamarole of signing up to HBO Max using a VPN they’re very viable alternatives, but you won’t get those premium movies, and not all HBO shows come to Australia in a timely manner.
When does The Suicide Squad launch on HBO Max?
The Suicide Squad is set to launch on HBO Max around 5 p.m. AEST on Thursday, August 5.
Unlike films on Disney+, it won’t require an additional fee as long as you’re an active HBO Max subscriber — although it’s important to note the film will only be available on HBO Max for one month after release and that you must be on HBO Max’s premium $US14.99 ($20.25) plan, rather than the ad-supported tier.
What other films are coming to HBO Max?
A streaming deal between Warner Bros. and HBO Max means every major film of 2021 will hit the streaming platform at the same time it lands in cinemas.
Here’s every major release you can look forward to this year:
- Reminiscence (August 20)
- Malignant (September 10)
- The Many Saints of Newark (September 24)
- Dune (October 1)
- Cry Macho (October 22)
- King Richard (November 19)
- The Matrix 4 (December 22)
Given we don’t know much about the 2022 release schedule, we could also see more films hit the service at a later date.
The Suicide Squad hits Australian theatres on August 5, 2021. For everyone who can’t currently visit a cinema, this guide should come in handy.