The Internet Isn’t Here for DC Execs Latest Reason for ‘Batgirl’ Cancellation
DC Studios new executives James Gunn and Peter Safran had a lot to say recently about their 10-year plan to rebrand the company. And in addition to a non-committal response as to whether Colombian American actress Sascha Calle would return to play Supergirl after debuting the character in The Flash this summer, they also got side-eyed when explaining why. DC’s Batgirl movie starring Dominican American actress Leslie Grace was shelved.
“I saw the movie,” Safran said. “There are a lot of incredibly talented people in front of and behind the camera in this movie, but it wasn’t releasable. It happens sometimes.”
Safran didn’t explain why he thinks Batgirl is “not releasable,” but he did add that he thinks the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav “had made the bold and courageous decision to cancel it because it would have hurt DC and those involved.”
If Safran is referring to the quality of the film, his comments match what the New York Post reported last summer when news of Batgirl’s assassination blew up the internet. According to their source, the film was a “DC disaster”, so “the studio decided to cut its losses and run, for the sake of the future of the brand”.
Regarding that future, Safran said Batgirl is “a character that we will inevitably include in our story,” but made no mention of Grace returning in the title role. He also said he recently spoke to [Batgirl directors] Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and “would love to do business with all of them”.
Safran added that Batgirl “wouldn’t have been able to compete in the theatrical market” and that “it was made for the small screen”, but didn’t explain why they weren’t releasing it on. HBO Max if that were the case.
Reports indicate that Warner Bros. Discovery elected to take a tax deduction to recoup the cost of the film. According to Variety, Batgirl wasn’t “big enough” for a major theatrical release “nor small enough to make economic sense” to air on HBO Max.
And the internet didn’t have it.
Some have cited the tax deduction as an excuse that they don’t buy.
They made the decision because the studio wanted a tax deduction.
How about you just pay them the difference? Does this mean that money is collected to counter this tax and they still release the film?
They get their balanced books and the fans get a movie.
— mikeymumbelz (@mikeymumbelz) February 1, 2023
It is a terrible statement. It’s insulting to the hard work of the cast and production crew. Besides Batgirl was canceled just to save money as a tax deduction had nothing to do with the quality of the movie. There was nothing brave about it and it deserved better https://t.co/KnDd3EDeEw
— Ballin (@Ballin_Plays) January 31, 2023
Others were insulted that Batgirl “would have hurt DC,” but Ezra Miller’s The Flash wouldn’t, especially given the legal woes and accusations thrown at them. From disorderly conduct to grooming and brainwashing, Miller has had several disturbing incidents over the past year.
“Releasing Batgirl would have hurt DC,” says the co-head of a studio that has just pledged to keep Ezra Miller as the lead actor in their franchise. 🙃 https://t.co/1rs8esMkcD
— ozzyboomerang (@ozzyboomerang) January 31, 2023
Am I the only one who finds it weird that #JamesGunn is so willing to promote and air the Flash with Ezra Miller despite all his legal battles and overall terrible behavior but I can’t do the same for Batgirl who is the actress principal who did nothing but put in work for the movie!?!? pic.twitter.com/VKF1TuIf5a
— Medjed (@Zavied26) January 31, 2023
There were others who pointed out that 25 years have passed since Alicia Silverstone played Batgirl in the 1997 movie Batman & Robin. And how they would like to see her again in the future.
I just want to see Batgirl in live action again, it’s been 25 YEARS since a live action version of her. We almost had her return in the (now canceled) Batgirl movie.
I hope to see it added to the 10 year plan that James Gunn has in mind.
Batwoman would be awesome too!#Batgirl pic.twitter.com/iTHEai69zE
— R3v (@r3v115) January 31, 2023
Some fans even pointed out that DC had no legs to stand on, especially when they greenlighted Jared Leto’s Joker, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, and the general release of Wonder Woman. 1984. All three were pushed back, plus the main characters with problematic storylines.
And some have just been completed, especially Batgirl which is unpublished means that not everyone behind the scenes will get proper credit on their CV for the work they have done.
At a minimum, it should have been put on HBO Max. To waste all the work that everyone on this team has done is reprehensible. Team members use past productions as resume material to land future jobs.
Now, this profession, on paper, no longer exists.
— Alex Inman (with Sherbet) (@InmanAlex) January 31, 2023
Ultimately, whoever DC directs, we hope Batgirl isn’t overlooked for another reboot. Because do we really need another Batman reboot?