Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav has no regrets about his decision to shelve Batgirl and other projects as tax write-offs, and believes it’s simply a necessary evil…
Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav’s decision to shelve the HBO Max Batgirl movie when it was already so deep into post-production was one of the biggest news stories of last year, and was met with a significant amount of backlash from every corner of the industry.
The project was scrapped as a tax write-off, with reports doing the rounds at the time that Barbara Gordon’s first solo outing simply wasn’t very good, and DC Studios co-CEO Peter Safran would later suggest that Batgirl may have been even more of a mess than we’d been led to believe.
“I saw the movie, and there are a lot of incredibly talented people in front of and behind the camera on that film. But that film was not releasable, and it happens sometimes. That film was not releasable. I actually think that [president and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery David] Zaslav and the team made a very bold and courageous decision to cancel it because it would have hurt DC. It would have hurt those people involved.”
Other projects have suffered the same fate since, including Scoob! Holiday Haunt and Coyote vs. Acme (though the studio is allowing filmmakers to shop it to other distributors), but Zaslav is adamant that these practices simply come down to a “strategic decision” and were required to improve the media conglomerate’s financial health.
“What content is going to help us win? The content that wasn’t, we made a strategic decision on. It was difficult and it was painful. But I think it was the right decision for the company and it was necessary. The question is, should we take certain of these movies and open them in the theater and spend another $30 [million] or $40 million to promote them?. When I look at the health of our company today, we needed to make those decisions. And it took real courage.”
The chances of us ever seeing Batgirl are somewhere between slim and none (we’re not even sure the movie still exists), but star Leslie Grace has confirmed that she has spoken to new Safran and James Gunn about potentially returning as Babs down the line.
What do you make of Zaslav’s comments? Do you see where he’s coming from, or do you think more should have been done to ensure Batgirl was releasable in some capacity? Be sure to share your thoughts in the usual place.
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