Image: Warner Bros.

There’s bad news today for Batgirl and Scooby Doo fans.

According to various reports from entertainment publications that include The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has decided to scrap Batgirl, a $185 million DC film centered on the superheroine that already finished shooting and was set for release on HBO Max this year. Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, an animated feature with a budget in the $40 million range, has also been axed by the film and entertainment giant.

Batgirl was canceled because “big-budget films made directly for streaming no longer make financial sense under the company’s new strategy,” according to industry insiders, something that has since been backed up by an official statement from Warner Bros that clarified its decision had little to do with the quality of the film.

“The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson explained. “Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance. We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.”

Sources with the New York Post have suggested in a separate report that Batgirl’s cancellation actually did have more to do than just saving money, however, with some describing the film as being “irredeemable” on the quality scale.

The reportedly $70 million movie (the source said the budget was actually more than $100 million), which was doing test screenings for audiences in anticipation of a late 2022 debut, would rank among the most expensive cinematic castoffs ever.

Those tests were said to be so poorly received by moviegoers that the studio decided to cut its losses and run, for the sake of the brand’s future. It’s a DC disaster.

Batgirl was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the duo behind Bad Boys for Life and select episodes of Marvel Studio’s Ms. Marvel series on Disney+. The cast includes Leslie Grace (In the Heights), who plays the titular Bat Family member, as well as J.K. Simmons and Michael Keaton back in the roles of Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne/Batman, respectively.

Brendan Fraser even had a key role in the film, playing supervillain Garfield Lynns/Firefly, a pyromaniac who enjoys starting fires. Fraser can be seen in DC’s Doom Patrol, in which he stars as Robotman, a cyborg member of the superhero team.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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39 comments

  1. Firstly,
    Can I say that I am disappointed that this was not some sort of Batman and Scooby Doo universe crossover? :p

    Secondly,
    I am not a by no means involved in the film industry, so there very possibly are dynamics to this that I am aware of, but this makes absolutely no sense to me.

    If you've already spent the money filming the **** thing, which is where the majority of the budget goes, might as well release it and try to recoup some of the cost, right?

    Just outright canceling it seems like it would be leaving lots of money on the table, which just doesn't make any business sense to me.

    I'm just looking at this from the perspective of running a business. I am not personally a fan of super hero titles, and probably was never going to watch this anyway, but I just can't seem to figure out what they were thinking.

    Only thing I can come up with is if the actors have ****ty contracts where they only get paid if it actually launches, or something like that. Still, the revenue from the release should at the very least cover the actors pay...
  2. Firstly,
    Can I say that I am disappointed that this was not some sort of Batman and Scooby Doo universe crossover? :p

    Secondly,
    I am not a by no means involved in the film industry, so there very possibly are dynamics to this that I am aware of, but this makes absolutely no sense to me.

    If you've already spent the money filming the **** thing, which is where the majority of the budget goes, might as well release it and try to recoup some of the cost, right?

    Just outright canceling it seems like it would be leaving lots of money on the table, which just doesn't make any business sense to me.

    I'm just looking at this from the perspective of running a business. I am not personally a fan of super hero titles, and probably was never going to watch this anyway, but I just can't seem to figure out what they were thinking.

    Only thing I can come up with is if the actors have ****ty contracts where they only get paid if it actually launches, or something like that. Still, the revenue from the release should at the very least cover the actors pay...
    I'll have to pull it up when I'm home but I was reading on another site that it had a lot to do with new leadership. I forget the guy's name but he's well known for putting just about anything on the chopping block to just get rid of it and move on. The source I was reading mentioned that he was the one who cut CNN+ just days weeks after launch when it didn't immediately get the #s they wanted. Evidently these two movies are only just the beginning and one source was quoted as saying that Warner is "done treating DC like a hobby."

    Edit: David Zaslav, I know we had a story on the CNN+ so I went and looked that up. He's the one making these decisions.
    https://www.thefpsreview.com/2022/04/21/cnn-being-shut-down-just-weeks-after-launching/
  3. They just cut Flash too, and it was the only thing even close to any continuity they had in the DC universe.

    Hadn't that been around for like 9 seasons or something though?

    Maybe it was time for it to wrap up. Quit while you're ahead and all that.
  4. Hadn't that been around for like 9 seasons or something though?

    Maybe it was time for it to wrap up. Quit while you're ahead and all that.
    I read a pretty in-depth article that broke down the seasons and it seems like it started waffling after 6 or 7. Not a bad run all things considered. It was definitely the best show they had going. I could never get into any of them but would occasionally watch some of the crossover events which were fun. I posted a story about it today as well but yeah, Zaslav has pretty much chopped the entire lineup including non-DC stuff from CW.

    Rumor has it he's prepping the channel to be sold off or dismantled. Seriously I think there's maybe 3 or 4 shows left that haven't been canceled, I can't back that up but he has canceled a bunch.
  5. Hadn't that been around for like 9 seasons or something though?

    Maybe it was time for it to wrap up. Quit while you're ahead and all that.

    Waay to late for that, watched a couple seasons of that, pretty mediocre at best
  6. Here you go. This one has a bunch more on all of what's going on with Warner/DC/CW

    [/URL]
    It sounds like it was so bad that it would do more harm than good to release it. Wow. A lot of times you would see a delay and some expensive reshoots for the film but that hasn't exactly worked well for a lot of films in recent years. I can see why they wouldn't want to sink another 10 or 20 million into it just to have it continue to suck and do damage to the brand.

    Batman & Robin was a good example of how to damage a brand with a bad film. I think they want to avoid that.
  7. It’s pretty common for new leadership to clear out programming that started under previous leadership, even if the programs were successful. Amazon hired a new creative content director some years ago and she cancelled award winning shows that were only 2-3 years in.
  8. Can I say that I am disappointed that this was not some sort of Batman and Scooby Doo universe crossover? :p
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Now that would've been something.

    If you've already spent the money filming the **** thing, which is where the majority of the budget goes, might as well release it and try to recoup some of the cost, right?

    Just outright canceling it seems like it would be leaving lots of money on the table, which just doesn't make any business sense to me.
    Yeah, I'm confused about that too.

    I just gotta say that dude better not mess with Peacemaker. That show rocks!
    I grabbed all the episodes maybe a couple weeks ago, was getting ready to watch it soon, as I loved James Gunn's The Suicide Squad.
  9. If you've already spent the money filming the **** thing, which is where the majority of the budget goes, might as well release it and try to recoup some of the cost, right?

    Good question. The answer seems to be it was more economical to get a tax write-off. Don't ask me how. I don't understand this !!!


    neither big enough to feel worthy of a major theatrical release nor small enough to make economic sense in an increasingly cutthroat streaming landscape. Spending the money to expand the scope of “Batgirl” for theaters — plus the $30 million to $50 million needed to market it domestically and the tens of millions more needed for a global rollout — could have nearly doubled spending on the film, and insiders say that was a non-starter at a company newly focused on belt-tightening and the bottom line. (Spokespeople for Warner Bros. and Warner Bros. Discovery declined to comment for this story.)

    Releasing the movie on HBO Max would seem to be the most obvious solution. Instead, the company has shelved “Batgirl” — along with the “Scoob!” sequel — and several sources say it will almost certainly take a tax write-down on both films, seen internally as the most financially sound way to recoup the costs (at least, on an accountant’s ledger).
  10. If you've already spent the money filming the **** thing, which is where the majority of the budget goes, might as well release it and try to recoup some of the cost, right?

    Just outright canceling it seems like it would be leaving lots of money on the table, which just doesn't make any business sense to me.
    DC is a property Warner Bros. paid a lot of money for. Releasing a really bad movie can severely damage a brand. The potential long term financial impact could easily exceed a the 70 million dollar loss from not releasing the movie today. If they chose to go that route, it was either because they found some way to write off the expenses to mitigate financial fallout and or it must have been so bad that no amount of reshoots could fix it.
  11. WW 1984 already caused massive damage to DC on screen. I'd include the CW shows too, but at least nobody saw those.
    The DC brand has taken a number of hits lately. Not only on the big and small screens, but in the comic book industry as well. Marvel has taken plenty of hits themselves, but the MCU itself remains a financial juggernaut, but even its lost its luster in recent years. On the comic book side, its done just as poorly as DC. Both companies have literally had books that were cancelled before release because the comic book stores didn't want them and audiences pretty well told them where they could shove that nonsense.

    The MCU can put out a less than stellar movie every once in awhile and still remain viable. On the other hand, DC's films being decent are the exception not the rule.
  12. The MCU can put out a less than stellar movie every once in awhile and still remain viable. On the other hand, DC's films being decent are the exception not the rule.
    I'd say there is a worthwhile movie every once in a while among a lot of drivel. Not that I watched them all, I only took a chance on a few of the more interesting ones and even that was hit or miss. From the ones I've seen:

    Iron Man : Good
    Iron Man II : OK
    The Avengers : Good
    Iron Man III : I don't remember if I liked it or not.
    Guardians of Galaxy : Hated it, didn't even watch till the end.
    Avangers : Age of Ultron : Very mediocre, had much more promise than what it delivered
    Ant-Man : It wasn't really even about ant-man
    Doctor Strange : Hated it, stopped watching before the halfway point.
    Avengers Infiniity War : OK
    Ant Man and the Wasp : I don't even remember it, didn't leave much of a mark on me.
    Black Widow : OK

    I'll probably watch Thor Love and thunder when it releases for home viewing, the rest I completely skipped, mainly, because spider man and captain america are way too cringe characters to me. They work in a comic book, but I have not enough suspension of disbelief to take those seriously in live action format.
  13. I'd say there is a worthwhile movie every once in a while among a lot of drivel. Not that I watched them all, I only took a chance on a few of the more interesting ones and even that was hit or miss. From the ones I've seen:

    Iron Man : Good
    Iron Man II : OK
    The Avengers : Good
    Iron Man III : I don't remember if I liked it or not.
    Guardians of Galaxy : Hated it, didn't even watch till the end.
    Avangers : Age of Ultron : Very mediocre, had much more promise than what it delivered
    Ant-Man : It wasn't really even about ant-man
    Doctor Strange : Hated it, stopped watching before the halfway point.
    Avengers Infiniity War : OK
    Ant Man and the Wasp : I don't even remember it, didn't leave much of a mark on me.
    Black Widow : OK

    I'll probably watch Thor Love and thunder when it releases for home viewing, the rest I completely skipped, mainly, because spider man and captain america are way too cringe characters to me. They work in a comic book, but I have not enough suspension of disbelief to take those seriously in live action format.
    No matter what you personally think of the MCU films, most of them were huge financial successes. With the majority of them making over a billion dollars at the box office. Very few of them have been financial disappointments to Disney. That's the main thing. DC on the other hand hasn't been lucky with only a few of the films they've made since the Nolan films that being truly successful.
  14. DC needs to get the team making it's animated movies and just up the game on those. They are fun to watch, good stories, and well voice acted not to mention drawn. No need for uber stars all over the place other than some voice acting and no chance of them getting hurt delaying production due to the movie.

    I will say the DC Animated movies have been on average better than the live action adaptations.

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