The future of live-action DC movies and shows got a major update on Tuesday, with the first details surrounding the newly-minted DC Studios. In particular, the studio will be co-run by The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker alums James Gunn and Peter Safran — something that is definitely exciting fans, given their unabashed love of DC's comics mythos. The move has already led some to wonder what the future could hold for projects at DC Studios, including whether or not the controversially-cancelled Batgirl movie could be a part of that. The film was in the stages of post-production and test screenings before it was shelved by Warner Bros. Discovery in August, reportedly so the studio can take a tax write-down on the film in an effort to further help pull the company out of significant debt.
Reports in the months that have followed have indicated that the actual footage of Batgirl will possibly be locked away in a physical or digital vault to allow for the tax write-down to begin, with the very small possibility that Warner Bros. Discovery could destroy the footage entirely in order to receive a full write-down immediately. If the former option ends up being the case, then it couldn't be out of the realm of possibility for Gunn and Safran to help the film see the light of day at some point in their four-year deal as co-chairs. Even beyond that, previous reports have indicated that Warner Bros. Discovery wants Batgirl star Leslie Grace to return for another project — so at very least, the new regime at DC Studios could push even further for that to happen. We'll ultimately have to wait and see if either ends up being the case.
Why did the Batgirl movie get cancelled?
Batgirl's cancellation definitely surprised fans, especially as the notion of cancelling an already-completed movie instead of releasing it was somewhat unprecedented. In addition to the tax write-down specifics, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav also indicated that the decision was due to a shift away from direct-to-streaming films on HBO Max.
"We've looked hard at the at the direct-to-streaming business," Zaslav explained in a call to investors in August. "We've seen, luckily, by having access now to all the data, how direct-to-streaming movies perform, and our conclusion is that expensive direct-to-streaming movies, in terms of how people are consuming them on the platform, how often people go there or buy it, or buy a service for it, and how it gets nourished over time. It's no comparison to what happens when you launch a film in the theaters. So this idea of expensive films going directly to streaming, we cannot find an economic case for it. We can't find an economic value for it. And so we're making a strategic shift, as part of that."
Do you want to see Batgirl get released? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!