Two days after the upcoming DC Extended Universe movie Batgirl was unceremoniously canceled, the studio Warner Bros Discovery defended his decision. The superhero movie was reportedly 90% complete and was due to be released on streaming platform HBO Max later this year before WB decided to pull the plug. David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, has defended the decision and laid out a 10-year roadmap for DC’s future. Also read: Batgirl star Leslie Grace and directors react to film being canned by Warner Bros
Batgirl played Leslie Grace as the titular character along with Brendan Fraser, JK Simmons and Michael Keaton as batman. The film is directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and is said to have served as an origin story for Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl in the DCEU. On Tuesday, however, WB announced that they no longer planned to release it due to low ratings from test audiences, the studio’s cost-cutting measures, and its refocusing on theatrical releases.
When fans started trending #SaveBatgirl on social media and pressured the studio not to be able to make the film, David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros Discovery, has responded. According to Collider, during an investor call, David said, “We’re not going to release a movie until it’s ready. We’re not going to release a movie to make quarter. The focus will be, how do we make each of these movies the best overall? DC is something that we think we can make better, and we’re focused on it right now. Some great DC movies are coming – Black Adam, Shazam! and The Flash. We are all working on that. We are very excited about them.”
There were reports that Batgirl didn’t score very well on test audience ratings. David stressed that the studio’s focus was now on theatrical releases and minimizing “expensive” movies going straight to streaming. He repeated: “And the other thing is that we are going to focus very hard on quality. Like I said – we’re not going to launch a movie until it’s ready, we’re not going to the movie to make a quarter, and we’re not going to release the movie unless we believe in it.”
On Wednesday, Leslie and the film’s directors had responded to the cancellation in separate statements on Instagram. The directors said they were “shocked and saddened” by the development, but hoped fans would get to see the film one day. Leslie thanked fans for their support and said she was proud “of the love, hard work and intention that all of our incredible cast and tireless crew have put into this film during 7 months in Scotland.”