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Two days after the upcoming DC Extended Universe film Batgirl was unceremoniously cancelled, the studio Warner Bros Discovery has defended its decision. The superhero film was reportedly 90% complete and was slated to be released on streaming platform HBO Max later this year before WB decided to pull the plug on it. Now Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has defended the decision and spelled out a ten-year roadmap for DC’s future. Also read: Batgirl star Leslie Grace and directors react to film being canned by Warner Bros
Batgirl starred Leslie Grace as the titular character along with Brendan Fraser, JK Simmons, and Michael Keaton as Batman. The film has been directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and would have served as an origin story for Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl in the DCEU. However, on Tuesday, WB announced they no longer planned to release it due to low evaluations by test audiences, the studio’s cost-cutting measures and refocus on theatrical releases.
As fans began trending #SaveBatgirl on social media, pressurising the studio not to can the film, Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav has reacted. As per Collider, on an investors call, David said, “We’re not going to release any film before it’s ready. We’re not going to release a film to make quarter. The focus is going to be — how do we make each of these films, in general, as good as possible? DC is something that we think we could make better, and we’re focused on it now. We have some great DC films coming up — Black Adam, Shazam!, and The Flash. We’re working on all of those. We’re very excited about them.”
There had been reports that Batgirl did not score very well in terms of reviews from test audiences. David emphasised that the studio’s focus was now on theatrical releases and minimising ‘expensive’ films going straight to streaming. He reiterated, “And the other thing is that we’re going to focus very hard on quality. As I said — we’re not going to launch a movie until it’s ready, we’re not going to go to movie to make a quarter, and we’re not going to put the movie out unless we believe in it.”
On Wednesday, Leslie and the film’s directors had responded to the cancellation in separate statements posted on Instagram. The directors said they were ‘shocked and saddened’ by the development but hoped that fans would get to see the film one day. Leslie thanked fans for their support and said she felt proud “of the love, hard work and intention all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over 7 months in Scotland.”
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