Following the cancellation of Batgirl, more details have come to light regarding the side effects of Warner Bros’ move.
Yesterday, the film industry was shocked by the news that Warner Bros had elected to outright cancel Batgirl, an upcoming DC Extended Universe movie that was all but complete. Using a loophole following its corporate merger with AT&T Discovery, Warner Bros essentially wrote off $90m as a tax break in a move that has presumably left many people bewildered and unhappy, not least the filmmakers and others involved in the production.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed further details into the after-effects of the move and how it effects the rest of the DCEU slate in a piece which is well worth reading. The upshot though, is that firstly, the film’s single screen test was not considered to be poor, given that it was screened to audiences without VFX or a score. The low 60s score was comparable (at that stage of completion) with films like IT: Chapter One and the first Shazam film, both of which did well at the box office.
Also, the report goes on to state that the cancellation means that Michael Keaton’s planned role in the DCEU is now ‘diminished.’
Keaton’s 1989 take on Batman was set to return in the oft-delayed The Flash then feature prominently in Batgirl before also appearing in the upcoming Aquaman sequel. Now however, it seems that with Batgirl gone and Ben Affleck’s version of Batman being slated to appear in Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom, perhaps instead, Keaton’s character could be sidelined.
There’s more too: the outlet is suggesting that delays may now be on the horizon for both the Aquaman and Shazam sequels. Warner Bros also hasn’t had much to say about the Blue Beetle film which like Batgirl, was originally set to be a streaming film before being upgraded to a theatrical release back in December. Now the future of that film is in question. Add this to the multiple delays for The Flash and the issues surrounding its star, Ezra Miller and things don’t look good.
The whole situation feels like a complete mess and given how the creatives involved have been treated, will do little to restore Warner Bros’ former reputation as a ‘filmmaker friendly’ studio. We’ll continue to bring you news on this one as we hear it.
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