Warner Bros. Discovery CEO defends shelving ‘Batgirl’
Written by Stephen Iervolino on August 5, 2022
An earnings call Q&A on Thursday with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav revealed much about the newly merged company’s plans, but a veritable Bat-Signal was shined on why the company was shelving Batgirl.
As reported, that film, which was far enough along to be tested for audiences, was unceremoniously shelved by the company, which is apparently writing off its reportedly $90 million budget.
The film was said to have tested poorly with preview audiences, prompting the studio to pull the plug.
“We’re not going to launch a movie until it’s ready. We’re not going to launch a movie to make a quarter and we’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it,” Zaslav said, according to Variety.
The CEO is taking a serious look at reorganizing the company’s deep bench of heroes, with an eye toward taking a Marvel Studios-like strategy in cultivating its intellectual property, most notably its heroic residents of Gotham City, Metropolis and the other characters from the DC Comics Universe.
“The objective is to grow the DC brand, to grow the DC characters. But also, our job is to protect the DC brand. And that’s what we’re going to do,” he explained, according to the trade.
Zaslav also specified that The Flash, starring Ezra Miller in the title role, would still hit theaters — in spite of the actor’s recent troubling behavior. He mentioned that upcoming film, as well as The Rock‘s Black Adam and the Shazam sequel, were hitting the “quality” bar the studio was looking for going forward.
“We’ve seen them, we think they’re terrific, and we think we can make them even better,” he said.
Gone is the old WB strategy of creating big-budget movies just for streaming, as Batgirl was initially intended to be, said Zaslav.
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