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Batgirl Cancellation Was Blown Out of Proportion, Says Studio Exec

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 9/8/2022 Adam Bentz
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The response to the Batgirl movie's cancellation was "blown out of proportion," according to Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels. Last month, the newly merged studio made the shocking decision to completely axe DC's Batgirl movie, which had already finished filming and was intended for a release on HBO Max. The $90 million movie, which was already in post-production when it was shelved, would have starred Leslie Grace as Batgirl, J. K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Brendan Fraser as Firefly, and Michael Keaton as Batman.

The Batgirl movie cancellation immediately spurred divided reactions from DC fans, many of whom questioned the motive behind Warner Bros. Discovery's unprecedented decision. Many of those involved with the nearly-finished film, including directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, and lead star Leslie Grace, publicly reacted to the news shortly after it broke and expressed their disappointment. Those who weren't even involved with the project, such as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, Shang-Chi star Simu Liu, and comic book maven Kevin Smith, also aired their thoughts on the situation.

Related: Why Warner Bros Cancelled DC's Batgirl Movie

Now, per Variety, Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels is the latest to publicly address the Batgirl movie cancellation. Speaking at a recent conference, Wiedenfels defended the DC film's cancellation and said the overall response to the decision has been "blown out of proportion." Read his full statement below:

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.

Wiedenfels' comments come after Warner Bros. Discovery CEO defended the Batgirl cancellation, as David Zaslav was also unapologetic about killing off various projects, both movies and television shows, for financial reasons. Perhaps there is no one more appropriate to hear from on this matter than Warner Bros. Discovery's CFO since the studio's decision to cancel Batgirl was ultimately a financial one. According to reports, Warner Bros. Discovery determined that cancelling the Batgirl movie and taking a tax-write off made more sense financially than releasing it commercially.

Despite the financial rationale, it's a decision that has understandably not gone over well with those who worked hard on the Batgirl movie and the DC fans who were looking forward to seeing the film. They will surely disagree with Wiedenfels about the outcry being "blown out of proportion," as they likely feel it is more than warranted given the unprecedented nature of the decision. While Warner Bros. Discovery's CEO and CFO are both unapologetic about the Batgirl cancellation, perhaps they could rectify the situation by bringing Grace and directors Arbi and Fallah back to WB on new deals, as reports have claimed.

Source:​​​​​​ Variety

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