Batgirl's cancellation.

DC’s Peter Safran Defends Batgirl’s Cancellation

Warner Bros.’ decision to cancel Batgirl last year prompted a wave of backlash against the studio from a mix of fans and industry professionals alike. But even though the film was nearly finished, Peter Safran firmly believes that scrapping its release was the right call. Shortly after revealing DC’s upcoming film slate this morning alongside his fellow co-CEO of DC Studios, James Gunn, Safran defended WB’s actions and explained why Batgirl‘s cancellation was for the benefit of the brand.

Batgirl was originally developed as an HBO Max exclusive with Leslie Grace starring as the title character. Cancelling the film earned Warner Bros. a $20 million tax break, leading many fans to believe their decision was entirely business-related and not at all fair to the cast and crew who spent months (if not years) putting the movie together. However, Safran now says there was a lot more at stake than the studio’s financial well-being.

“Batgirl’s a character that inevitably we will include in our story,” confirmed Safran (via Variety). “On the Batgirl front, it’s not about late in the process of the film getting canceled. I saw the movie, and there are a lot of incredibly talented people in front of and behind the camera on that film. But that film was not releasable, and it happens sometimes. That film was not releasable. I actually think that [president and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery David] Zaslav and the team made a very bold and courageous decision to cancel it because it would have hurt DC. It would have hurt those people involved.”

Safran also took some time to commend the work of Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, hinting that despite Batgirl’s cancellation, there might be a place for both of them in the new DC Universe. 

“I spoke to Adil and Bilall — the directors — last week, we were chatting,” added Safran. “We’d love to be in business with all those folks. Christina Hodson wrote it. Some people are already back in business with us. As I said, a lot of talented people were involved, but the film just was not releasable. It would not have been able to compete in the theatrical marketplace; it was built for the small screen. So, again, I think it was not an easy decision, but they made the right decision by shelving it.”

RELATED: James Gunn Has Reached Out To Batgirl Directors

Batgirl’s supporting cast included J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon and Brendan Fraser as Firefly. But a much bigger draw was the presence of Michael Keaton, who would have reprised his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman from Tim Burton’s films after making an appearance in The Flash later this year. And elsewhere in the presentation, Gunn chimed in, suggesting that Keaton’s Dark Knight could appear in other DC projects in the future.

“There’s always possibilities.” said Gunn. “We are a multiverse still. But the main thing that we’re focusing on right now is creating the universe that people kind of put their feet into. And then out of that, if we want to have multiverse tales, which I actually know, one of the things we’re working on does have multiverse tale. You know, we’ll have that in there.”

Do you agree with Safran’s remarks about Batgirl‘s cancellation? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: Batgirls 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 and affiliated sites.

Also. However. Regardless.