Warner Bros. has long felt like the boss’s son of a studio. Its department heads inherited big named properties, have all the money they know what to do with and yet continue confuse us. In August of last year, Warner Bros. made another in their series of baffling decisions. They decided to indefinitely shelve and write off Batgirl, a film completed and paid for.
Specifically with DC (Detective Comics) titles, WB has never been able to get traction. They saw the master decade long, multi film plan Kevin Feige laid out at Marvel Studios and wanted to duplicate it. Then they decided to take shortcuts and shoehorn what should have been 5 years of development into two films, which were not well executed.
Instead of going for poppy, fun, and lighthearted energy, WB lumped their hopes and dreams onto the back of their chosen director Zach Snyder. Much like his other films, he was a visionary who’s only apparent vision was dark, angsty, and brooding. The all American Superman just didn’t come off as fun as it should have when he had the attitude of a teenager who really wanted to fit in somewhere. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was even stranger. Between the odd casting choices and horrible everything, all people remember is that Batman and Superman’s mothers laughably have the same name.
Somehow for being so poorly lit and nearly satire, the films cost a fortune to make and market. Sufficed to say the movies Snyder made didn’t really flop, but they also didn’t break enough ground or succeed enough to warrant the immediate expansion of a universe and explosion of titles, as with their main competition (Marvel) a half decade earlier.
Since they owned the rights to DC, WB did push out other titles though. Wonder Woman had two films before it fizzled. Shazam has experienced some limited juice and the Batman franchise hasn’t been able to get off the ground in a decade ,despite a fresh iteration or tangent every few years.
Then came The Flash. This production really sums up the crux of WB’s problems. In what was the least hate-able character of the Justice League film, WB went all in on a Flash standalone endeavor starring Ezra Miller, a troubled actor with no lead credits to his name. Dumping a reported 300 million into this project, Warner Bros. has had nothing but issues with delays in production, multiple arrests and drug issues with the star and the entire DC Universe teetering on the brink of collapse, studio wise.
What’s baffling though, is that WB has changed leadership by hiring James Gunn as executive overseeing all DC projects at the studio. He’s had success helming Guardians of the Galaxy and that’s pretty much it. It’s a lot of responsibility to thrust onto a talented director and writer. He was given a grease fire and a bucket of water to put it out with. So James started swinging his axe and everything was cancelled but the upcoming Flash film.
Here’s the rub. Despite all of its problems, The Flash has been testing very well. Tom Cruise saw it and raved over it, if that’s worth anything. The studio put even more money into it and wisely got public menace Ezra Miller off the streets until its release. A big part of this movie though is Michael Keaton as the Batman. People are excited about it and there’s buzz about everyones favorite OG film Batman (no disrespect to Adam West).
Now, I haven’t seen Batgirl. It could be a flaming bag of dog doo doo, but how bad can it actually be if it has the same beloved Michael Keaton in it in the same role? The man hasn’t made a bad film since Multiplicity in the 90s.
Not only that, it has Brendan Fraser in it to boot. He’s now Academy Award winning actor Brendan Fraser! His comeback is complete and everybody roots for this man. Now WB can also lead in with “Best Actor winner Brendan Fraser” in the trailer title card. That always puts some extra asses in seats. The very same things that make The Flash appealing on paper are in the Batgirl movie. There’s even been a few action scenes that have leaked online and they look pretty good!
Just.. WOWWW🙌 @EmelyTKD @lesliegrace you make a great tandem fo sure💛 #batgirl #sistershavingeachothersbacks #sistershavingeachothersbackflips pic.twitter.com/uAAFWWN2fm
— Ivory Aquino (@MsIvoryAquino) September 18, 2022
From what we internet sleuths can gather, Batgirl is finished. It’s at or near final edit and gathering dust because James Gunn simply said so. Not to second guess the man, but out of his two Marvel films, one was great and the other was okay. His other DC titles thus far, Peacemaker and Suicide Squad, should show that everything he touches is not gold. He and the studio need to rethink the release of a film that would likely make its money back for them, especially since they were on the verge of throwing it away!
In closing, no one is frothing at the mouth for a Batgirl movie, but the casting department hit a homer and they may have accidentally caught lightning in a bottle. It would help with the studio reboot they’re so desperately trying to manage. If Warner Bros. is so gung ho to write off 90 million dollars (as is the reported Batgirl budget) the least they could have done is give it to a food bank or donate to the make a wish foundation. For now all we can wish for is a potential release of Batgirl on HBO Max one day in the future.