While many fans are still unhappy about the unexpected and unceremonious cancelation of Batgirl, Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels has been the latest to add their opinion to the reactions and attention on the film’s demise. According to the studio boss, the decision to scrap Batgirl received too much information from “external” sources and the whole thing was “blown out of proportion.”
Batgirl was set to star Leslie Grace in the title role, with Brendan Fraser appearing as the villain Firefly, J.K. Simmons reprising his Justice League role of Commissioner Gordon and Michael Keaton returning for the first time in over 30 years as Batman. With the movie in the final stages of production, the last thing anyone saw coming was a cancelation just days after it was suggested the film could even get a cinematic release in Europe. Wiedenfels recently added his thoughts on the matter while speaking to Variety. He said:
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“To me, you know, it’s blown out of proportion a little bit, in terms of the attention externally. The focus is, on a go-forward basis here, we’re spending more than ever in the history of the two legacy companies on content. We’re continuing to make significant investments — we’ll make them differently. Media likes to talk about media, I guess. I don’t think it is unusual. We are a creative industry and one of the elements of creativity is that there is judgment and views on what the potential of what a certain piece of [intellectual property] might be. Clearly, the course corrections, making changes quickly where we don’t agree with the track that WarnerMedia was on, that took a lot of courage and execution early.”
Batgirl’s Cancelation Was Seen As Necessary By Warner Bros. Discovery
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Fans may not agree, but the unapologetic statement by Wiedenfels stacks up against previous ones by CEO David Zaslav, which explained that the cancelation of Batgirl and other imminent projects were all part of a bigger financial shake-up within the company, which led to the decision that taking a tax-write off was more beneficial to the company’s finances than releasing them.
When Warner Bros. and Discovery merged, it was always expected that there would be several changes coming, but at the time, it was not thought that those changes would be so swift or brutal. While the cancelation of Batgirl is one that maybe makes sense for the company, fans of DC, Brendan Fraser and Michael Keaton still don’t quite see it in that way. If the movie had been in the early stages of development or had even been only part way through filming, it might have been easier to accept.
Even though Warner Bros. Discovery has built bridges with actress Leslie Grace and directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, saying that they want to work with all of them on other projects in the future, when and if that happens is something that is not yet clear. For now, though, it seems that Warner Bros. Discovery is resolute in its decision, and no amount of public opinion going to change that.