Batgirl: Warner Bros Discovery CEO explains why he cancelled release of $90m movie

Movie studio came under fire for decision

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 07 August 2022 11:38 BST
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Warner Bros has explained why it cancelled Batgirl’s film release.

The film studio came under fire this week following the news that it was shelving the movie despite the fact its $90m (£73.7m) shoot had been completed earlier this year.

Leslie Grace, who starred in the lead role of Barbara Gordon, and the film’s directors, Bad Boys for Life‘s Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, expressed their shock at the news in respective statements.

There were several rumours surrounding Warner Bros’ decision, with a spokesperson saying at the time: “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.”

However, during the Warner Bros Discovery‘s Q2 earnings call on Thursday (4 August), Variety reports that CEO David Zaslav elaborated upon why Batgirl was cancelled.

“We’re not going to launch a movie until it’s ready,” Zaslav said, adding: “We’re not going to launch a movie to make a quarter, and we’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it.”

Zaslav reiterated Warner Bros’ plans to hire a team of people whose job it is to put together a “10-year plan focusing just on DC” in the hopes of emulating Marvel Studios’ success.

“These are brands that are known everywhere in the world,” he said of characters including Batman and Wonder Woman. “And as part of that, we’re going to focus on quality. DC is something that we think we could make better and we’re focused on it now.”

Zaslav’s comments seeingly confirmThe New York Post’s claims that Batgirl was scrapped after being called “irredeemable” following negative test screenings.

‘Batgirl’ was cancelled despite shooting being complete

Additionaly, it corroborates The Wrap‘s report that Zaslav felt Batgirl , which was being lined up for a theatrical release despite being made for HBO Max, wasn’t the cinematic event film they would like their DC films to be going forward.

Michael Keaton was set to reprise the role of Bruce Wayne in the film, having played the role in Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns, respectively.

However, it seems the role he filmed for the studio’s The Flash will see the light of the day despite the many controversies surrounding its lead star Erza Miller; Zaslav broke Warner Bros’ silence on the film’s release plans during the earnings call.

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