Batgirl Cancellation Makes Upcoming DC Movies Slate Unclear – The Hollywood Reporter


“We’ve done a reset.” That’s how Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav described DC on Aug. 4, days after he made the decision to shelve the $90 million HBO Max movie Batgirl. The mogul mentioned there’d now be a crew that might create a “10-year” plan for DC, though who’s on that crew is unclear.

And Zaslav took digs at former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s technique of growing straight-to-streaming movies. “We are going to focus on quality. We are not going to release any film before it’s ready,” mentioned the chief. “DC is something we can make better.”

The remarks weren’t nicely acquired inside DC, based on a number of insiders who used the identical phrase to explain members of the movie division: “pissed.” And DC Films president Walter Hamada practically exited after studying of the shelving of Batgirl earlier than being satisfied to remain on not less than till the Oct. 21 launch of Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam. (That movie had a June check screening, together with a brand new post-credits scene introducing a brand new factor to Johnson’s place within the DC Universe.)

Before Warners’ sale to Discovery, Hamada was gearing as much as launch three or 4 movies a yr. The government was introduced on in 2018 to chart a brand new course for DC after a street map spearheaded by Zack Snyder imploded within the wake of the disastrous launch of Justice League in 2017.

Hamada’s plans had been mentioned to have included a Crisis on Infinite Earths occasion, a tackle the seminal DC Comics story that was tailored for TV on The CW. Rumors circulated about introducing the Secret Six, a villain crew that within the comics have been Suicide Squad antagonists. More concretely, Warners had movies based mostly on Supergirl, Green Lantern Corps and Static Shock anticipated within the subsequent few years, plus a J.J. Abrams-produced Black Superman movie from author Ta-Nehisi Coates. Development has slowed, with none of these options attaching administrators.

Some key collaborators have acquired assurances their tasks are secure. The Suicide Squad filmmaker James Gunn has a number of tasks in improvement at DC, together with season two of Peacemaker, which is shifting ahead. Insiders say Blue Beetle, starring Xolo Maridueña as DC’s first Latino superhero to topline a film, can be on monitor for its August 2023 launch date. After Batgirl’s cancellation, observers had feared for the venture, on condition that it at one time was slated for HBO Max earlier than being upgraded to theatrical. The studio can be shifting full steam forward with a sequel to Joker, with Lady Gaga confirming her casting the morning of the WBD earnings name.

Zaslav turned heads when, amongst DC’s upcoming movies, he highlighted on an earnings name not solely Black Adam and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom but in addition The Flash, starring the embattled actor Ezra Miller. “We’ve seen them. We think they are terrific, and we think we can make them even better,” Zaslav mentioned of these movies. The optics weren’t good, coming days after axing Batgirl, which might have been the primary DC Extended Universe movie to star a Latina, Leslie Grace.

Work has stored up on The Flash, which has been testing nicely. Miller participated in recurrently scheduled further images over the summer time, apparently with out incident, earlier than being charged with housebreaking — their third arrest this yr — on Aug. 7 in Vermont. Still, neither DC nor Zaslav has indicated the movie will transfer from its June 2023 launch date, although insiders say the studio is evaluating all choices.

Kim Masters and Borys Kit contributed reporting.

This story appeared within the Aug. 10 challenge of The Hollywood Reporter journal. Click right here to subscribe.

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