"Batgirl": Warner Bros. Scraps DC Film

"Scoob! 2: Holiday Haunt" is in a similar position

by Pierre Lorenz on August 3, 2022

This news surprised the entire movie industry this week: Warner Bros. cancels the release of "Batgirl". As the movie giant announced in a statement, the film including streaming and theatrical release has been completely scrapped. The peculiar thing is that the film is already fully shot, and the test screenings were already well underway. The reason cited was a change in strategy among management, rather than poor test screenings or other concerns related to the quality of the planned DC film. At the same time, the company informed that they were very satisfied with the final product and the work of the people involved, but that they had to take this step nonetheless. The same also applies to the release of the "Scoob!" sequel, which also fell victim to the new strategy. Particularly unhappy about this seems to be the creator Tony Cervone. He reported the film was as good as finished, and was devastated by the decision. 


Some suspect a common theme behind this, because Warner wants to focus on high-class theatrical blockbusters like "The Batman" or "Dune" in the future and less on exclusive titles at HBO Max with smaller budgets. "Batgirl", with its increased production budget of close to $90 million, may not have been big enough. Or at least, it does not seem to meet Warner's standards for a high-budget blockbuster spectacle. The driving force here is David Zaslav, who has been the new CEO since the merging of Warner Bros. and Discovery Inc. and he wants to turn his back on many smaller productions now and in the future. 

But plenty of industry insiders suspect there's an even more obvious reason behind the scrapping of "Batgirl" and "Scoob! 2 Holiday Haunt", involving nothing other than money. As reported by Variety and others, Warner Bros. Discovery and the team around David Zaslav are using this approach as a way to save taxes on the fresh corporate merger. By canceling the two movies, they can reclaim many millions in tax expenses, which should very much please the accountants at Warner Bros. Discovery. This step is dependent on the fact that no profit can be made on either movie, which also means they cannot ever be released commercially. 

A rather complicated matter, one that many experts agree is indeed unlikely to have any content-related reasons, but rather fiscal ones. At present, this approach is causing quite a lot of criticism in Hollywood, since in the end, the bare figures seem to be far more important than the work of many thousands of people who spent a considerable amount of time on completing the films. Still, it is unlikely that the outcry over the tax strategy will force the release of the two movies. What are your thoughts about David Zaslav and the canceling of the two films? Do you understand the reasons behind it or are you also among the people who disapprove of this strategy? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

Image of Eternals 2, Joker 2: Folie à Deux, Godzilla vs. Kong 2, Batgirl