The chairman of DC Studios is defending the decision to cancel the nearly completed Batgirl film last summer.
- As we previously reported, HBO and Warner Bros. received criticism this past summer for canceling a nearly completed Batgirl film, scheduled to release on HBO Max, after investing more than $90 million into production.
- While promoting the newly announced slate of DC Comics films on Monday, to be produced by creative lead James Gunn, DC Studios CEO Peter Safran defended the cancellation of Batgirl, saying the film would’ve harmed the brand and the careers of everyone involved.
- “That film was not releasable. I actually think that [Warner Bros. CEO David] Zaslav and the team made a very bold and courageous decision to cancel it because it would have hurt DC,” says Safran.
- The new Warner Bros. slate of superhero films will be released both theatrically and on HBO Max and premiere in July 2025—including Superman: Legacy: The Authority, The Batman: Part II, The Brave and the Bold, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, Booster Gold, and Swamp Thing. Five films from the outstanding roster of DC films will be released by 2024.
Why It’s News
Warner Bros. is in a position where it needs stability and vision for its creative productions. With the tentpole Harry Potter films long since completed, the studio is eager to rely on Batman and Justice League films to carry the studio forward. The former director of Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn, is now in charge of working out that direction.
HBO Max, The Discovery Channel, and Warner Bros. had a challenging year last year with the upcoming merger into Warner Bros. Discovery. It saw the incredible success of the premiere of its new Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon, setting viewership recorders. At the same time, the company reported massive billion-dollar losses in 2022.
The hiring of former Marvel Studios director James Gunn also drew criticism following an attempt by actor Dwayne Johnson to pressure the studio into making a sequel to his Black Adam film after it underperformed at the box office by teasing the return of Henry Cavill’s Superman. This came after the months-long drama of The Flash star Ezra Miller’s arrest and allegations of assault, harassment, and grooming of a young woman.
Safran lamented the decision to cancel Batgirl, and even says that the studio is in continued discussions with directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and wants to work with them in the future, Variety reports.
“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,” Safran says.