Entertainment news tends to be fairly quiet in the weeks after Comic-Con. However, word about Batgirl‘s cancellation is upending that tradition. Shelving a nearly complete superhero movie with a budget between $70 million to $90 million just hasn’t been done before. But the edict from Warner Bros. Discovery is that Batgirl and the $40 million budgeted animated flick, Scoob! Holiday Haunt, will neither be released theatrically nor on HBO Max as originally intended.
Late last night, Warner Bros. acknowledged the moves while making a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. The studio also denied claims that either film was cancelled over quality issues.
“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. We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.”
That’s the Hollywood equivalent of “It’s not you, it’s me.” At press time, neither Batgirl star Leslie Grace nor directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have shared statements of their own.
So, why did Warner Bros. put these movies on ice? Deadline suggests that the move is emblematic of Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav disdain for former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s strategy to use big budget original projects to draw subscribers to HBO Max. Batgirl and Scoob! Holliday Haunt were two of the highest profile original films for the streamer.
Additionally, Deadline’s report indicates that WBD decided that it was a better strategy to write off both films at a massive loss rather than invest in making them theatrical releases. As part of the merger with Discovery, former WB projects like Batgirl can be kept off the books thanks to this tax maneuver. That said, it’s still a colossal waste of money to simply let both films sit on the shelf without ever getting a release. Stockholders may not be happy about that.
What do you think about WB’s reasons for cancelling Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Batgirl and the Birds Of Prey Vol. 1
We are also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising program also provides a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Also. However. Regardless.