This May Be Why WB Killed ‘Batgirl,’ Despite It Being Finished
A truly bizarre situation unfolded in Hollywood yesterday as an avalanche of sites began to report that Warner Bros. would not be releasing its upcoming Batgirl movie. No, not like the movie was canceled, but rather, the movie is completed, yet WB is choosing not to release in theaters or HBO Max. Despite it being a finished production, they are simply nuking the entire thing.
What on earth happened? The details of exactly why Batgirl was killed in such a bizarre fashion are only just starting to be pieced together. Here’s what we think we know so far:
– The original New York Post story, which was one of the first outlets to report the news, said that early test screenings were so poorly received, that WB classified the Batgirl film as “unspeakable” and “irredeemable.” In short, the theory is that it’s just…really, really bad.
– This was bolstered by additional details later on from Collider’s Steven Weintraub, who said that among the film’s issues were that the costumes looked cheap, including Michael Keaton’s Batman:
Spoke to people that saw #Batgirl and they said it was a huge disappointment. Also that the costumes looked cheap especially Keaton’s Batman costume. I figured WB would dump it on HBO Max but looks like we will never see it. https://t.co/YtY3bztmVw— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) August 2, 2022
– Past that, the decision to release it neither in theaters nor on HBO Max may be inspired by WB believing the tax writedown they’ll get from the loss will serve them better than releasing a DCEU-damaging feature into the wild. Variety reports this as the most likely reason the movie was killed, as it would be a way to recoup its costs and not further damage the DC brand at the same time. But that can only happen if you do not monetize the movie at all, no release in theaters, nor on HBO Max, and it cannot be sold do a different studio either.
Fans have launched into their own theories about the movie, all of which has…significantly less sourcing than the above, and is mostly wish-casting. Snyderverse proponents believe this is justice for rejecting Batfleck and Ray Fisher. Others theorize that this has to do with Ezra Miller’s Flash shenanigans, which remains its own problem, but DC may be trying to undo aspects of that movie, which was also supposed to include Michael Keaton’s Batman. Even before this, supposedly Keaton’s scenes in that movie were replaced with Ben Affleck, and with Batgirl now dead, it’s not clear if this idea to bring back Keaton’s alt-universe Batman will continue to have any legs.
All of this seems like a part of WB’s grand plan to rework the DC universe under new management, given how fractured its become and how troubled many of its projects are, whether that’s actor issues or production quality. But this is a pretty big black eye for WB and DC as a whole during a time when they didn’t need another one, though you could make the argument that releasing a very bad Batgirl movie, if that is indeed the issue, could have done even more harm than taking the writedown and going home.
Meanwhile, you can get your Batgirl fix in an actually good DC production, Harley Quinn, airing season 3 episodes every Friday.
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