Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Complains About the Batgirl Cancellation Backlash

WBD CFO Complains About the Batgirl Cancellation Backlash

David Zazlav and the new Warner Bros. Discovery leadership team got off to a rough start last month when they cancelled HBO Max’s Batgirl late in post-production in favor of a tax cut. Batgirl is far from the first movie to be shelved in Hollywood. But it might be the only $90 million movie to never see the light of day. That’s one of the reasons why the studio has been feeling the heat from the entertainment press. Now, via Variety, WBD CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels has complained that the Batgirl cancellation backlash is the media’s fault for blowing it out of proportion.

““To me, you know, it’s blown out of proportion a little bit, in terms of the attention externally,” said Wiedenfels. “The focus is, on a go-forward basis here, we’re spending more than ever in the history of the two legacy companies on content. We’re continuing to make significant investments — [but] we’ll make them differently… Media likes to talk about media, I guess. I don’t think it is unusual. We are a creative industry and one of the elements of creativity is that there is judgment and views on what the potential of what a certain piece of [intellectual property] might be.”

Somewhat ironically, Wiedenfels made these remarks while appearing at the Bank of America Securities Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference.

RELATED: Warner Bros. is Hosting Secret Batgirl Screenings on the Studio Lot

Additionally, Wiedenfels’ comments are somewhat disingenuous and tone deaf. It’s far from “media likes to talk about media.” Warner Bros. Discovery decided that getting a $20 million tax break was worth losing $70 million on the film with no hope of getting any of that money back. Regardless of whether Batgirl had quality issues or not, publically traded entertainment companies usually try to get something out of their investments. Even the live-action Catwoman movie made it to theaters, and it’s hard to imagine Batgirl being any worse than that.

Instead, WBD seems to be more interest in selling off or killing its projects for short term gains. The upcoming animated series, Batman: Caped Crusader, was one of the recent HBO Max casualties that is likely to find a home somewhere else. WBD’s new strategy is apparently rooted in the belief that it can make more money selling its signature characters to other streamers. But that’s likely to cost HBO Max’s subscribers numbers in the long run.

How do you feel about Wiedenfels’ remarks? 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. Additionally.