WB Discovery CEO Defends Batgirl Cancellation: ‘We’re Not Going To Release Any Film Before It’s Ready’ – IGN
Batgirl’s stunning cancellation sent shockwaves through the film world, but Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is making no apologies for the decision.
“We’re not going to release any film before it’s ready. We’re not going to release a film to make a quarter, we’re not going to release a film — the focus is going to be, how do we make each of these films, in general, as good as possible. But DC is something that we think we could make better, and we’re focused on it now,” Zaslav said during today’s quarterly earning call.
Zaslav says that it’s part of a “10 year plan” for DC in which Warner Bros. Discovery hopes to create a structure similar to the one “put together very effectively by Kevin Feige at Disney.”
“We think that we could build a long-term, much stronger sustainable growth business out of DC. And as part of that, we’re going to focus on quality,” Zaslav said, alluding to reports that Batgirl was axed because test audiences reacted poorly to the film, though other sources have said that it was mainly a move intended to recoup some of the money spent on the movie through taxes.
On why Batgirl wasn’t shifted directly to HBO Max, Zaslav said Warner Bros. Discovery has “looked hard at the direct-to-streaming business,” but there “is no comparison to what happens when you launch a film in the theaters.”
“This idea of expensive films going direct to streaming: we cannot find an economic case for it. We cannot find an economic value for it. So we’re making a strategic shift…Our focus will be on the theatrical,” Zaslav said.
Batgirl’s cancellation earlier this week signaled a seismic shift within Warner Bros., triggering wild speculation about the company’s intentions for HBO Max and beyond, with reports suggesting that Supergirl could be in trouble as well.
Meanwhile, Batgirl star Leslie Grace thanked fans on Instagram, saying, “Thank you for the love and belief, allowing me to take on the cape and become, as Babs said best, ‘My own damn hero.'”
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.