I hope nobody in the Wasteland was looking forward to Batgirl.
Warner Bros. has shelved the DC Extended Universe film, pulling it from the release calendar and locking it away never to be seen again. What started as a rumor earlier today quickly began to be confirmed by more and more reliable news sources and trade publications.
While it’s not exactly clear why Warner Bros. would cancel a film that was in the final stages of post-production, Variety has the best guess/inside scoop. Apparently, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is not too hot on HBO Max exclusive films and wants all films produced by WB to be exclusive theatrical releases.
Also, to shift Batgirl from an HBO Max release to a theatrical one would have reportedly cost another $30 million to $50, which insiders say “was a non-starter at a company newly focused on belt-tightening and the bottom line.” Instead, Warner Bros. will use Batgirl and the canceled Scoob! sequel as “a tax write-down, […] seen internally as the most financially sound way to recoup the costs (at least, on an accountant’s ledger). It could justify that by chalking it up to a post-merger change of strategy.” However, if Warner Bros. Discovery chooses to move ahead with this plan, the company will be legally forbidden to monetize Batgirl, meaning it can’t change its mind in the future and decide to release the film on HBO Max or in theaters. It’s all or nothing for DC’s Barbara Gordon.
Personally, I’m pretty disappointed Warner Bros. has decided to use Batgirl as a tax write-off. I was excited to see the film expand Gotham City and the Bat-Family, introducing Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl and bringing back J. K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. The cast also included Brendan Fraser as Firefly, I mean, how cool would that have been! Warner Bros. is cutting the FraseRenaissance short!
Oh, and Michael Keaton was back as Bruce Wayne/Batman thanks to some multiverse shenanigans that apparently happen in the upcoming The Flash movie. It was going to be a nice, low-budget, low-stakes superhero film. That would have been refreshing.
Oh well, maybe one day Warner Bros. will get its shit together and give us a cohesive and well-received DCEU. One day.
Are you sad Batgirl has been shelved forever? Will you take to social media to campaign for Warner Bros. to #ReleaseBatgirl?