We finally have an answer on why Warner Bros. shelved the nearly completed feature film Batgirl, adapted from the DC Comics character.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav explained during the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Thursday that Warner Bros. Discovery wouldn’t release a movie just to have it out in the world.
“We’re not going to launch a movie to make a quarter, and we’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it,” he said. The studio has also axed Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, a follow-up to the 2020 film Scoob.
Zaslav continued that the company has reset its releasing strategy for all movies.
“There will be a team with a 10-year plan focusing just on DC,” he said. “It’s very similar to the structure that Alan Horn and Bob Iger put together effectively with [Marvel Studios chief] Kevin Feige at Disney.”
According to the CEO, the DC characters are “known everywhere in the world,” and the company will continue to grow and protect the DC brand.
“And as part of that, we’re going to focus on quality,” Zaslav said. “DC is something that we think we could make better, and we’re focused on it now.”
The decision to scrap two feature projects that were almost finished caught the industry off guard, especially with Batgirl’s $90 million budget.
This surprising decision stemmed, in part, from Warner Bros. Discovery’s strategic shift in leadership, news outlets reported.
“Our conclusion is that with expensive direct-to-streaming movies—in terms of how people are consuming them on the platform, how often people buy a service for it and how it gets nourished over time—there is no comparison to what happens when you launch a film in the theaters. So, this idea of expensive films going to streaming… we cannot find an economic case for it. And so we’re making a strategic shift,” Zaslav said.