The movie batgirl It is finished, it has cost 90 million dollars (about 88 million euros), but it will not be released. The Warner Brothers company announced on Tuesday that the film, whose filming concluded months ago and was already in the process of test screenings, will not be released either through the HBO Max platform, as intended for this year, or in the movie theaters. Fans of DC comics are therefore left without the film adaptation of their heroine. And the rest of the public wonders, surprised, why a company would give up commercially exploiting a work that is already finished and has cost so much.
The film, starring Leslie Grace in the role of the heroine, had the return of Michael Keaton as Batman, a role that he resumed for the first time since 1992. According to the American weekly Variety, which consulted various sources, the reason behind the cancellation has to do with Warner’s change in strategy, which no longer intends to focus almost all its efforts on the consolidation of HBO Max. Thus, batgirl It is no longer “neither big enough to be worthy of a theatrical release, nor small enough that it had a financially valid reason to go out in an environment of streaming more and more aggressive.
However, the same medium points to another issue: tax savings. Different sources have assured that not releasing the film guarantees the entity a tax deduction for the income initially planned and now lost, which from within the organization is perceived as “the most financially sound way to recover the costs” of production. .
A company spokesman confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the cancellation “reflects the change in management strategy regarding the DC universe and HBO Max.” The leadership of Warner Media, currently merged with Discovery, has also changed, since this spring it has David Zalslav as CEO. The new boss does not share the strategy of his predecessors, Jason Kilar and Ann Sarnoff, focused above all on the launch of their platform of streamingto the point of releasing all its 2021 productions online and in theaters at the same time, a decision that sparked protests from both theaters and the creative teams of several blockbusters.
Zaslav, then, has returned to the traditional early release in theaters. But the company considers that, in the case of Batgirl, this would mean spending another many millions of dollars and that the cost does not outweigh the potential opportunity. In addition to batgirlthe producer has canceled Scoob!: Holiday Hunta film about the popular dog who solves mysteries with his human friends (and a sequel to Scooby!2020), whose budget was 40 million dollars.
Film adaptations of DC comics stories and characters have been a series of ups and downs for Warner in recent years. Although there are deliveries like joker (2019) and the recent batman (2022) that have been well received at the box office and by critics, his project of creating a superhero cinematic universe that could compete with the one developed by Marvel Studios has never really taken off. One of the biggest bets in this sense was Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), an extended and retouched version of the film that Snyder was unable to complete at first due to a personal tragedy that forced him to hand over the reins to Joss Whedon (director of the first two adventures of The Avengers). The call Snyder Cut, highly demanded by fans of DC and the filmmaker, had its premiere on HBO Max.
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