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Why WB Canceled Batgirl And What It Means for the Future

Warner Bros. Discovery just took a big call on the future of the DC universe. They’ve shelved the Batgirl movie, which they spent $90 million on. It originally had a $70 million budget, but shutdowns due to COVID and some reshoots ballooned the budget up to 90 mill. But what’s bonkers is that the film was almost done with its post-production and could have been released! They just canceled a 90% done movie, and something like that is just huge! Let’s check out why WB canceled Batgirl.

Something like this rarely happens in Hollywood. After the merger, Warner Bros Discovery had a completely new regime led by David Zaslav. And they are about to make a big call for HBO Max as it could be combined with Discovery+. Many changes are happening behind the scenes, and many aggressive moves are being made. And one of them has been the cancellation of Batgirl.


Why WB Canceled Batgirl

First, it was The New York Post that reported the cancellation. But then other big trades also came in and added to the legitimacy of this report. The Wrap wrote that the Top brass at Warner Bros is heavily focused on making DC movies into big-screen blockbusters. They want these films to be seen as “big theatrical event films.” And they just didn’t think that Batgirl was one of those.


Now obviously, Batgirl was initially filmed as an HBO Max exclusive movie. It was later decided that the movie would be released in the theatres. But now, after multiple test screenings, the higher-ups decided that this film wasn’t worth releasing in theatres. Steven Weintraub of Collider claimed that the people who saw Batgirl called it a huge disappointment. The costumes in the movie looked cheap, especially the one that Keaton’s Batman wore.


WB’s willingness to take a 90 million dollar hit shows that they are committed to establishing DC as a big blockbuster brand. They’re not going to spend millions of dollars marketing a movie they don’t find top-notch. They must have assessed significant losses ahead by releasing this film in the theatres. So, they’ve taken this massive call!


But the news of the cancellation got mixed reactions. On one end, people are unhappy with how the cast, the directors, and the entire production crew have been treated. Many people worked hard to get the project going, and their careers depended upon it. But now, the movie will not see the light of day. Sure, they all would have been paid. But it is embarrassing for someone like Leslie Grace, who put her heart and soul into becoming Batgirl.


She promoted it all over social media. But now, her work has simply been canceled. Warner Bros has stated that they still wish to work with everyone involved with the Batgirl project in the future. But that doesn’t change the fact that much time and money was wasted on Batgirl. Although, people are also looking at this from a different perspective. WB wants to commit to making DC a big theatrical event brand.


Many took this as a positive sign for the restoration of the SnyderVerse. Mainly because this news comes after the return of Batfleck in Aquaman 2. But you should not have high hopes for that either. Ben Affleck has wanted to quit playing Batman for a long time. And The Flash was going to give him that exit. He had only returned to Aquaman 2 because of a change in release dates, as Michael Keaton’s Batman was supposed to appear in the film when it came out after The Flash.


But that didn’t make sense anymore, so Batfleck is returning for one more appearance. He still isn’t back full-time and is only doing another cameo as a favor to Warner Bros. And guess what, this cameo in Aquaman 2 could be our final goodbye to Batfleck because the future of The Flash is still hanging in the balance. This movie has drowned deep in controversies because of Ezra Miller. Warner Bros. Discovery has already shown that they aren’t afraid to lose money on movies in the post. They will not commit to a release that won’t be fruitful in the future.


They still haven’t decided what to do with The Flash movie. But Batgirl was a $90 million project. This one, on the other hand, is much bigger. It would have a budget between 150 to 200 million dollars. And it is deep in post-production right now. So scrapping this could lead to some crazy losses! But then again, you never know what the aggressive new regime at Warner Bros. will do. We may not see Michael Keaton return as Batman because The Flash is not a surety right now.


The Flash series on The CW was also canceled recently as it is said to close the Arrowverse with its 9th season. And rumors have suggested that the big-budget Green Lantern series, which was supposed to arrive on HBO Max, was also canceled quietly. So now, people are apprehensive about Blue Beetle. Batgirl’s suit reveals met with a lot of dislikes. But people were happy when Blue Beetle’s comic accurate suit first hit the internet. So, they are being very protective of this film.


But remember that this was yet another movie planned for an exclusive HBO Max release. Ant was given a later theatrical release date of August 18, 2023. It has just finished its production, and if WB Discovery doesn’t think it is blockbuster material, they could also ax this one. Although, they just took a 90 million dollar loss. So will they be willing to forego the money they spent on Blue Beetle? It is a tricky situation, and you never know what will happen.


But the bottom line is that the new regime wants to start fresh. So, we should expect the old SnyderVerse to be partially or fully Gone! And we should expect the Hamadaverse to be gone too! Expect a rebooted cinematic universe under someone that David Zaslav appoints as the head of the DC division in the future. Also, keep your eyes on the news as WB Discovery has its second-quarter earnings call on Thursday. So, some major aggressive news updates regarding the DC universe could be headed our way.


What are your thoughts on the cancellation of Batgirl? Let us know in the comments.

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Vansh Mehra

Content creator. Just wanna share my passion for cinema with everyone.
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