Just two days ago, the DC Films franchise endured a major shakeup, as Batgirl, a movie that had already been shot, was scrapped from the lineup of upcoming DC movies, meaning it won’t be released in theaters or to HBO Max subscribers.This surprising news came months after the Wonder Twins movie was cancelled after three months of development. For those now wondering where things stand with DC Films, two of Warner Bros. Discovery bosses opened up on the company’s earnings call today. about the future of the franchise and provided more rationale for Batgirl’s cancellation
Starting off, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav made it clear that the DC brand is still a priority for this recently-merged conglomerate, to the point that there’s a specific 10-year plan that’s being applied to future DC movies. In Zaslav’s words:
The DC Extended Universe launched with Man of Steel in 2013, five years after the Marvel Cinematic Universe got rolling with Iron Man. However, the DCEU has never reached the MCU heights of success, but with David Zaslav leading the charge, he’s implementing this 10-year plan that pulling a page from the book the MCU has been using for a while now. And for those unaware, Alan Horn is now serving as a consultant for Warner Bros. following nearly a decade at Walt Disney Studios as chairman and later the chief creative officer. Zaslav continued:
Black Adam will hit theaters this October, followed by Shazam! Fury of the Gods two months later. And despite the controversy surrounding The Flash actor Ezra Miller, the Scarlet Speedster’s solo movie is still on track to arrive next June. However, it isn’t all about strengthening the DCEU continuity, as evidenced by Joker 2 scoring a release date and The Batman 2 being greenlit earlier this year, not to mention Matt Reeves’ Caped Crusader-centric universe expanding with a Penguin series and other spinoff shows in development. The point
As for Batgirl, which starred In the Heights’ Leslie Grace in the title role and was directed by Bad Boys for Life’s Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, yesterday Warner Bros. Discovery issued a statement yesterday about it, saying that Batgirl’s cancellation “reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max.” Today, Gunnar Widenfels, WBD’s CFO, provided the following rationale about Batgirl being shelved, as well the scrapping of Scoob! Holiday Haunt and Wonder Twins:
All three of these movies had been slated to be exclusive to HBO Max, as was Blue Beetle before it changed to a theatrical release. However, under the new regime, Warner Bros. is committing to releasing theatrical movies, and rather than pour more money into Batgirl (which had a budget of $90 million) to make it feel more cinematic, the company decided to set it aside. It’s been reported that Warner Bros. Discovery plans to take write off Batgirl as a tax break.
Clearly some big changes are coming to DC Films, and CinemaBlend will continue sharing updates on what the franchise is delivering to audiences. If you’re wondering what non-DC movies there are to look forward to for the remainder of the year, head to our 2022 release schedule.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.