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Batgirl Axed: What does this mean for the DCEU? | Arts & Entertainment

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The new CEO of Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, canceled the upcoming Batgirl movie, the next installment in the DCEU, earlier this year. Batgirl, which was supposed to be a HBOMax streaming exclusive, was nearly completed when Zaslav’s announcement was made that the film would be axed as a tax write off (sources differ on the exact cost of the film, but it firmly rests between 60 and 90 million)

Zaslav has defended his decision, stating in a company call for WBD that “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.” after Batgirl’s cancellation was announced, rumors circulated that suggested the film was canceled because of poor testing with audiences, though the rating was hovering in the 60s, similar to the reactions for both black adam and Shazam’s upcoming sequel before their respective directors could film reshoots and polish their product.

WBD has also gone on record to say that their reasons for canning the film had nothing to do with the performance of the actors or the director, and that they look forward to working with them again, assuming that WBD hasn’t burned their bridges with the involved parties. Along with Leslie Grace, the film’s cast included stars JK Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Brendan Fraser as Firefly, and Michael Keaton’s return as Batman.

Batgirl is not the only property owned by WBD that has faced the executioner’s ax; Multiple television programs have been pulled from HBOMax’s archives, including Infinity Train, Close Enough, and over a hundred episodes of Sesame Street. Furthermore, WBD has gone back and purged their official social media accounts of any posts dedicated to or referencing any now removed media. While WBD’s animation department has suffered from Zaslav’s recent shakeups, other projects have received more attention. house party and Evil Dead Rise, two HBOMax exclusives, have now been given theater release dates as part of Zaslav’s pledge to focus more on theater releases.

Batgirl is not the only DCEU project to face executive meddling; tea Shazam and Aquaman sequels have had their release dates pushed back several months, reportedly to avoid competition with Avatar: The Way of Water and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The delay of these movies indicates a lack of faith in the DCEU from Zaslav, especially in contrast to Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which has a sequel in the works and a Penguin spinoff. Thought Aquaman and Shazam are facing pushbacks, The Flash is expected to be released as planned (June, 2023), and according to IGN Entertainment, Ezra Miller has returned to set to do reshoots for the film.

Despite a year-long slew of incidents (including assault accusations), WBD has continued to put faith into Ezra Miller and the Flash solo film. The Flash causes concern for the future of the DCEU as leaked information suggests that it’s a reboot of the DCEU, and that a major inspiration of the film is the “Flashpoint” storyline that led to a reboot of the comic’s universe, meaning that previous movies’ events could be swept away, causing concern for fans of the franchise.