Never mind the unprecedented move for a studio to kill a nearly completed movie in favor of recouping the production costs via a tax write-off or the terrible optics attached to the decision because the film starred a Latina actress. According to Warner Bros Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels, dumping Batgirl early last month was a story that was “blown out of proportion.”
During a recent media, communications, and entertainment conference, Wiedenfels defended the studios’ decision to scrap Batgirl and denied that it hurt the company’s reputation.
“Media likes to talk about media, I guess,” he said. “We have healthy relationships with talent, and we are offering one of the best platforms for anyone in the creative space.”
When asked if the decision meant that Warner Bros Discovery was resetting the DC Cinematic Universe strategy moving forward, Wiedenfels said that wasn’t the case.
“There’s a new team coming in, forming a view, providing a financial framework to assess these things,” he said. “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 will continue to make significant investments. We’ll make them differently, with a different financial rigor and a different focus on full utilization across all platforms, et cetera, but this is the lifeblood of the company, and we’ll continue to be investing in it.”
The cancellation of Batgirl saw heavy criticism across the industry. Filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks III) said it was “an incredibly bad look to cancel the Latina Batgirl movie.”
“I don’t give a shit if the movie was absolute f—ing dogshit,” he added. “I guarantee you that it wasn’t. The two directors who directed that movie did a couple of episodes of Ms. Marvel, and it was a wonderful f—ing show, and they had more money to do Batgirl than they had to do an episode of Ms. Marvel and stuff.”
Call us crazy but proclaiming that the story of Batgirl’s demise was merely “blown out of proportion” and dismissing the feelings of those who were critical of the move doesn’t seem like a good way to make amends with audiences who were unhappy with the decision. With all the money Warner Bros Discovery is getting back by shelving Batgirl, we guess a little gaslighting won’t hurt their bottom line.