In anticipation of the big Warner Bros. Discovery quarterly update coming later this week, upcoming movies like Batgirl and Scoob 2 have been scrapped. With that news comes a lot of questions as to just what the freshly merged conglomerate is doing with its streaming service, as well as the intellectual properties it holds. While we don’t have all the answers just yet, the studio that makes up part of the brand has issued a statement addressing both cancellations.
Arriving on the heels of the initial news that Batgirl won’t be released in any form, Warner Bros. has offered an explanation for shelving the almost-completed film. The Wrap’s Umberto Gonzalez shared this statement on Twitter, and you can read the following message from a studio representative below:
This Warner Bros. statement contradicts those initial reports of Batgirl being “irredeemable” to a certain extent. With the $90 million film directed by Ms. Marvel’s Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah in the post-production phase before the plug was pulled, it’s a rare example of a studio axing a movie so far along in its process. Not to mention, it also has fans that were looking forward to another movie adaptation of a fresh DC hero.
Despite assembling an insanely good Blue Beetle cast, there's concern from some fans that it's destined for the chopping block. While the movie's upgrade to a theatrical feature might keep it safe from the “strategic shift” in DC's relationship with Warner Bros., anything can happen. Just as upsetting is the cancellation of Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, which was a much less costly project for the studio, but met its untimely end seemingly just as close to the finish line as Batgirl was.
This statement does uphold the management style engaged by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Cutting projects and restructuring the ecosystem for HBO Max, DC Comics and the entire outfit in general, the man’s aims have been readily apparent for some time. Case in point is the reaction Zaslav had to Cry Macho, which was a box office failure made in the name of maintaining the relationship between Warner Bros. and director Clint Eastwood.
Though David Zaslav’s “showbusiness vs. showfriends” mentality is firmly on record, the statement from Warner Bros. does counter that messaging just a bit. Despite scrapping both Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt, the studio is interested in remaining friends with the teams responsible for both movies. That might be a hard sell, especially since HBO Max’s 2020 simultaneous release model had already caused splits such as longtime partner Christopher Nolan’s defection.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s big strategy shift could cause even more parties choosing to set up shop in other corners of the Hollywood landscape. All eyes will certainly be on the upcoming Warner Bros. Discovery investors call, as Q2 2022’s results will be paired with what should be announcements of the company’s plans for the future. In the meantime, the next upcoming DC movie to be released will be Black Adam, which hits theaters on October 21st.
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Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.