Months after Batgirl was canceled seemingly for the purpose of a tax write-off, more reasons for the decision are coming to light. New studio co-lead Peter Safran, short of taking credit for the idea, is explaining today that quality had a lot to do with it. He thought it was bad after seeing the movie with everybody else before all the effects were finished.
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Speaking at the recent DC Presentation in Los Angeles, Safran said (via Indiewire), “I saw the movie. There were a lot of incredibly talented people in front of and behind the camera on that film. But that film was not releasable. It happens sometimes. That film was not releasable.” He’d add he believes the canceling was a stunning and brave choice.
Also sharing his concern for the filmmakers involved, Safran continued, “I actually think that [David] Zaslav and the team made a very bold and courageous decision to cancel it because it would’ve hurt DC, it would’ve hurt those people involved. I think they really stood up to support DC, the characters, the story, the quality, and all that.”
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Moreover, he still wants to work with the crew including the screenwriter. “We’d love to be in business with all of those folks,” he said. “Christina Hodson, the writer, she’s somebody we’re already back in business with. A lot of talented people involved, but the film was just not releasable. It would not have been able to compete in the theatrical marketplace.”
Destined for HBO Max, Safran says Batgirl’s big drawback is “It was built for the small screen. I think it was not an easy decision, but they made the right decision by shelving it.” The film was reportedly of a CW quality — a creative tone the new brass is abandoning — and was rumored to do an injustice to Michael Keaton’s Batman legacy.
Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were told their talent and quality were not an issue but Warner Discovery CEO David Zaslav, like Safran, somewhat disputed this when he called it “a casualty of restructuring.”
Said Zaslav, “We’re not going to release any film before it’s ready…The focus is going to be, how do we make each of these films…as good as possible?”
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