It’s been three days since Warner Bros. Discovery axed HBO Max’s Batgirl movie, and the dust isn’t settling anytime soon. Earlier this week, lead actress Leslie Grace and directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah issued surprisingly diplomatic responses to the film’s cancellation. But there’s at least one person in the DC camp who wasn’t afraid to publicly burn bridges with the studio. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Walter Hamada was so upset by the decision that he came close to vacating his role as the president of DC Films.
According to sources, Hamada was attending a Black Adam test screening when he learned about Batgirl’s fate from Warner Bros. Pictures Group co-chairpersons and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy. As expected, Hamada took issue with WB choosing to shelve the film without consulting him first. He also expressed concern for how the movie’s cast and crew might be affected by the news. In the end, The New York Post wound up breaking the story on Tuesday before Batgirl’s talent and their reps could be properly informed.
The report also claims that Hamada has “consulted with counsel” about a possible exit. For now, he has agreed to stay on at least until Black Adam hits theaters on October 21. THR was unable to reach Hamada himself for comment. But one source remarked, “He’s pausing. The decision has not been made to make this adversarial, yet.”
DC Films originally installed Hamada as its president in 2018. However, his tenure hasn’t been without controversy. Since 2020, Ray Fisher has accused Hamada of not doing enough to rein in Joss Whedon’s “unprofessional” behavior during Justice League’s reshoots. He also alleged that Hamada tried to undermine the investigation into Whedon’s misconduct. Fisher later ruled out a return to the DCEU as Victor Stone/Cyborg as long as Hamada was in charge. Regardless, he may actually get his wish if Hamada does end up leaving his post in October.
Hamada first brought up the idea of certain DC movies going straight to HBO Max in a 2020 interview with The New York Times, hinting that he was one of the main architects behind this strategy. If successful, DC’s Max-exclusive slate could have been one of Hamada’s crowning achievements as president of the studio. So it’s easy to see why Batgirl’s cancellation might lead him to rethink his relationship with the company. The film reportedly cost $90 million to make and was in the middle of post-production when WB dropped the ax. But despite claims that it tested poorly, other sources indicate that it enjoyed a similar response to early screenings of It, which was critically acclaimed when it finally opened in 2017.
How do you feel about Hamada possibly leaving DC Films behind later this year? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
Photo Credits: JB Lacroix/Getty Images/HBO Max
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.