They Scrapped Batgirl
Pretty shocking news for DCEU fans came over the wire last night. Variety reports ‘Batgirl’ Film Axed by Warner Bros., Won’t Be Released on Any Platform.
Back in my day we gave Zack Snyder $70 million to remake a film we already had and made it 242 minutes long so people would have something to watch in the quarantine. But no, please do tell me why W.B. Discovery needs to shelve a $90 million Batgirl movie with Michael Keaton, Brendan Fraser, and J.K. Simmons.
The $90(+!) million film starring Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon also starred Michael Keaton returning as the role of Batman (to tie in with Ezra Miller’s The Flash - we’ll get there), Brendan Fraser as Firefly and J.K. Simmons returning to the role as Commissioner James Gordon.
How does a movie that’s completed production at a major studio with these talented actors get scrapped and shelved and not be released on ANY PLATFORM? Truly baffling that this is to get the same fate as the Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie (still better than FANT4STIC).
Why do I have visions of myself walking around a convention years from now looking for a bootleg of Batgirl on VHS, like o-so-many copies of ‘78 Doctor Strange, Reb Brown’s Captain America, and the Shazam TV Show?
The hot takes were hot, and now, with coffee and an open substack window, I can speculate myself.
What they said:
The NY Post, of all places, had the scoop from an inside source:
“They think an unspeakable ‘Batgirl’ is going to be irredeemable,” the source said.
What they mean:
Test audiences did not respond well, according to the Post’s reporting.
Surely not the fans! Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) merged in April, and ever since moving to Hollywood, the DC offices have been feeling that things are a-changing. With WBD ‘cutting their losses’ they don’t have to face embarrassment if the movie came out and was poorly received. I think what we are seeing here is a backlash to the backlash to the backlash about mediocre or lackluster comic book projects like Morbius, Eternals, and The New Mutants being released to unfavorable reviews. The DC slate, including movies, TV, and animation, is different from the Marvel model. Even if you take the idea of the DCEU/Snyderverse off the table, there is a true Multiverse over in DC land.
I guess the world this Batgirl lives in is just … blipped away.
The Flash’s future:
Not that Flash (ending after nine seasons, also announced yesterday), but Ezra Miller’s The Flash movie slated for next year seems to be in limbo with this announcement, and also, Ezra Miller turning into a violent weirdo in Hawaii of all places. They seemingly have had a Flashpoint of their own, and it’s sad because I like both Grant and Ezra’s Flash. I can’t see Grant on the big screen unless he teams up with the Shazam kids.
Batfleck v Superbatman (Keaton): Pawns of Injustice:
Ben Affleck’s Justice League Batman is returning in the Aquaman sequel. Why these spoilers can’t remain secrets, no one knows. Before the merger, Keaton would be the Batman of record in the crossover movies (anchored on events of The Flash) … but now Ben is Back with Jennifer, and Pattinson is doing his own thing in what I like to call the ‘Gotham Central-verse' in The Batman 2 and spinoff shows on HBO Max. Who’s a better Batman? Keaton. Who’s a bulkier Dark Knight Returns Batman? Affleck. Who’s a sexier vampire Batman? Pattinson.
Why not give us at least ONE Batgirl? P-P-P-Please?
Can’t they just … like … stream it?
This seems to be the fan’s biggest Bugaboo Creek. There is so much trash on the HBO Max app, you don’t have to spend as much on marketing to just flippin’ put it on the streamer, and let the fans decide if they like it. If they don’t, Poof, make a cool Batgirl appear in the Harley Quinn animated series making fun of the movie, and Boffo, Mr. J, you got kind of a thing goin’!
DCEU’S Multiverse of Convenience:
As mentioned before, one of the things I genuinely appreciate is DCs multiple cast members playing roles. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is sprawling, there are “Variants” and reveals, but mostly everything stays on the rails. DC can have a Ray Fisher Cyborg and a Joivan Wade Cyborg, and we get what’s going on. All the more reason to have this version of Batgirl exist somewhere. Why not?
What Leslie Grace means to fans for representation:
Leslie Grace fills out the ‘Batgirl of Burnside’ cowl well, and I wanted to see what she did with Babs. She is a Dominican-American actress, the third Latina cast for a DC movie, and now young girls don’t get this Batgirl to look up to. Afro-Latina girls miss out. Black girls miss out. Everyone misses out. Major fail here.
The New 52 Batgirl writer Gail Simone said it best in a post yesterday.
DC.com Launch today:
While I fear the state of the comics industry is also in tumult, with comics themselves always in a shakey market because of pandemic-related store closings, digital readership, and inflation taking a toll, comics are still happening. DC dropped a “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” press release toting a new URL, DC.com.
DC today unveiled its fan focused portal at DC.com, which will give fans easy access to all things DC, from fan-first news to DC UNIVERSE INFINITE, DC Shop, DC Community and DC on HBO Max. The new DC.com homepage will feature weekly drops of new video content, editorial deep dives, fan discussions, digital experiences, and more, and fans will now access everything from DC UNIVERSE INFINITE to DC Community with a single, unified user profile.
“DC.com is a celebration of everything across the DC Multiverse and we couldn’t be more excited for today’s launch,” said DC GM/SVP Anne DePies. “We are doubling down on DC’s digital ecosystem and there has never been a better time to be a DC fan and with this one stop shop, we’re bringing everything together in one place to easily access and celebrate your fandom.”
I’m still a DC INFINITE subscriber and don’t see much of a difference with branding on the new site. Still, one can only imagine they are looking at the SDCC movie and tv announcements and Disney+ integration on Marvel.com and trying to capture the same magic.
squeaking Batblade back into storage like…
I’ll be following what Warner Bros. Discovery has lined up on the chopping block next.
Update, August 3rd, 4:24 PM:
Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have released a statement on the cancellation of their Batgirl movie per Rotten Tomatoes.
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