Fans and the industry are still reeling from the shocking decision to make Batgirl, a $100 million film that has already been made.
Bat Girl was commissioned for the Warner Bros streaming platform HBO Max, it was never intended for a movie, making his demise all the more mysterious.
The role of Batgirl was to be played by Leslie Grace, and the supporting cast also included Michael Keaton, Brendan Fraser, and J.K. Simmons. The directors were Adil El Arbi and Bilal Fallah, hired due to the film’s commercial success. Bad boys for life.
Initial reports Bat Girlthe cut suggested that it was so bad for early test audiences that it was declared incorrigible and that the smaller scale Bat Girl meant it didn’t fit with the rest of the DC films.
The latter is a weak argument because DCEU films are notoriously tonal inconsistencies, and a smaller scale recording wouldn’t break some grand, coherent vision like Marvel’s.
And now there are more, sometimes conflicting reports that point to a much bigger game play than just Bat Girl.
because Bat Girl was not the only near-complete game to receive an axe.
Scoob: Holiday Sanctuary$40 million animated sequel to the 2020 film. skub, was also scrapped. Like Bat Girl, Scoob: Holiday Sanctuary was commissioned for HBO Max and will now never see the light of day.
In addition, the third season Little Ellen, the Ellen DeGeneres animated series was also canceled despite releasing a finished product. As well as Big Dthe reality show, which was due to premiere on the American television channel TBS in two weeks, received recognition.
HBO Max and TBS are owned by parent company Warner Bros Discovery.
The media reports in Diversity and Deadline reported that anonymous industry sources claimed the moves had more to do with tax reasons than the quality of the work that was thrown to the curb.
By canceling these finished movies and TV shows now, Warner Bros Discovery can write them off with some accounting maneuvers. It may very well be that these films and series are worth more dead than alive.
The timing is very suggestive because Warner Bros Discovery is due to report its financial results later this week and there was a limited time window for maximizing these accounting tricks because the company had just been merged with Discovery and Warner Bros.
This is a different element in the game.
The two former media companies completed the merger in April, and since then CEO David Zaslav has been consolidating the combined business. Zaslav came from Discovery’s side of the merger, and in the process, many senior Warner Bros executives, including boss Jason Kilar, left the company.
Zaslav has a reputation for being a spendthrift and ruthlessly discards objects he considers inefficient.
The biggest cut so far has been Zaslav’s decision to launch CNN+, a streaming platform that cost $300 million to build and launch. Zaslav turned off CNN+ after only a month. Apparently, the first numbers of subscribers were disappointing.
All this raises questions about the future of HBO Max, Warner Bros’ streaming platform and home to huge TV franchises including Game of Thrones/Dragon House as well as Sex in the city/And just like that.
HBO Max last reported 78 million subscribers worldwide after two years of operation. It carried over millions of existing subscribers from its previous streaming iteration, HBO Now.
HBO Max does not operate in Australia, and HBO/HBO Max programming is available here through a number of local distribution deals, including with Foxtel/Binge* and Stan.
HBO Max has struggled to reach even the subscriber base it has now, and that’s after international expansion into the European and South American markets.
There are widespread rumors that Warner Bros Discovery will announce its financial results later this week, and the most likely scenario now is a merger of the HBO Max brand with streaming platform Discovery.
What this potentially combined power might look like and why Bat Girl as well as Scoob: Holiday Sanctuary can’t be a part of it fuels industry chatter.
Is it because they don’t match the new brand? Or is it really as cynical as clever accounting measures?
*Foxtel and Binge are owned by News Corp, the publisher of this website.