Warner Bros Discovery has axed DC’s Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt in a very upsetting surprise. We fear that the worse has yet to come.
It’s the most shocking industry news in quite a while. The new high-ups at Warner Bros Discovery have canceled the DCEU Batgirl film after it was already filmed and was in the final stages of post-production. But what is the reasoning behind shelving an almost completed $90 Million film?
Batgirl fans Are Devastated With The Unbelievable News
The news was first reported by the New York Post. At that point, fans online didn’t really buy the report as the source hasn’t had the best track record in the past. Just a few minutes later The Wrap also backed up the report, leading to fans starting to get worried about the anticipated project. The news was then also confirmed by the big trades (Deadline, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter) making it official: Batgirl has been shelved.
That means that the film won’t be released in any form. Not on HBO Max, as it was originally planned nor theatrically.
Back under Ex-CEO Jason Kilar the strategy was to develop original $70 million live-action and animated films directly for HBO Max to steadily increase subscriber numbers, with a lesser focus on the theatrical output. This strategy was overthrown by the new CEO David Zaslav after the Warner Media/Discovery merger. The focus is now back on theatrical output rather than the streaming service. The studio wants their DC films to be “big events” and doesn’t want to introduce new characters in their DCEU in small-screen projects.
According to Deadline, the filmmakers were told that the decision to shelve the movie, came down to a “purchase accounting” maneuver available to Warner Bros Discovery because of the merger. This opportunity expires in mid-August and it allows Warner Bros Discovery to not have to carry the losses on its books at a time when the studio is trying to pare down $3 billion in debt across its divisions.
Luckily that means that there isn’t a lot of time for the company to shelve other projects and Deadline’s sources don’t expect other films to have the same fate. But the trade also continued that no one can feel confident with this week’s quarterly earnings report ahead.
There has been a lot of speculation that Batgirl was canceled due to it being a bad movie. Deadline denies those reports saying that while the film only had one test screening the results weren’t that bad. We also have to consider that the cut had unfinished visual effects which tend to temper audience ratings in the scores.
The DC adventure wasn’t even the only project that was shelved as the animated Scooby-Doo film Scoob! Holiday Haunt also got axed. The film was supposed to be a prequel to 2020’s Scoob! The project cost around $40 Million.
Warner Bros Discovery released this statement: “The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance. We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.”
Batgirl was directed by Adil El Arbi and Billal Fallah. They learned about the news during El Arbi’s wedding in Morocco. The duo is known for the pre-pandemic hit Bad Boys for Life and also helmed multiple episodes of Marvel Studios Ms. Marvel Disney+ series. The film was set to star In the Heights breakout Leslie Grace in the titular role, as well as J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly, and Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
It is such a shame that a promising project like this won’t see the light of the day, especially as it’s almost finished and was supposed to grace our screens by the end of the year. The entire cast and crew deserve so much better. Honestly, I don’t understand how Warner Bros Discovery wants to build any sort of excitement for their DC projects when something like this happens. We have a few interesting days ahead.
What do you guys think? Were you excited about Batgirl? What is your opinion on this decision? Do you think Warner Bros Discovery knows what they’re doing? Let’s discuss everything in the comments down below and on our Social Media.