The film bat girl It’s finished, it cost 90 million dollars (about 88 million euros), but it won’t be released. The company Warner Brothers announced on Tuesday that the film, whose filming ended months ago and was already in test screenings, will not be released either via the HBO Max platform, as planned for this year, or in cinemas . . Fans of DC comics therefore find themselves without the film adaptation of their heroine. And the rest of the public wonders, surprised, why a company renounces commercial exploitation of a work already completed and which has cost so much.
The film, starring Leslie Grace as the heroine, featured the return of Michael Keaton as Batman, a role he is reprising for the first time since 1992. According to the American weekly Variety, which consulted various sources, the reason for the cancellation is related to the change in strategy of Warner, which no longer intends to focus almost all of its efforts on the consolidation of HBO Max. For him, bat girl It is no longer “neither big enough to merit a theatrical release, nor small enough to have a financially valid reason to release in a medium of diffusion more and more aggressive.
However, the same media points to another issue: tax savings. Different sources have assured that not releasing the film guarantees the entity a tax deduction for the revenues initially planned and now lost, which, within the organization, is perceived as “the most financially secure way to recover the production costs. .
A company spokesperson confirmed The Hollywood Reporter that the cancellation “reflects the change in management strategy regarding the DC Universe and HBO Max”. The management of Warner Media, currently merged with Discovery, has also changed, since this spring it has David Zalslav as CEO. The new boss does not share the strategy of his predecessors, Jason Kilar and Ann Sarnoff, focused above all on the launch of their platform of diffusionto the point of releasing all of its 2021 productions online and in theaters at the same time, a decision that has drawn protests from both theaters and the creative teams of several blockbusters.
Zaslav therefore returned to the traditional early release in theaters. But the company considers that, in the case of bat girl, that would mean spending several more millions of dollars and the cost not outweighing the potential opportunity. In addition to bat girlthe producer canceled Scoob! : party hunta movie about the popular dog who solves mysteries with his human friends (and a sequel to Scooby!2020), whose budget was $40 million.
Film adaptations of DC comic book stories and characters have been a series of ups and downs for Warner in recent years. Although there are deliveries like Joker (2019) and the recent The Batman (2022) which were well received at the box office and by critics, his plan to create a cinematic universe of superheroes that could rival the one being developed by Marvel Studios never really took off. One of the biggest bets in this direction was Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), an extended and retouched version of the film that Snyder was unable to finish at first due to a personal drama that forced him to hand over the reins to Joss Whedon (director of the first two adventures of The Avengers). The call Snyder Cup, highly requested by DC fans and the filmmaker, premiered on HBO Max.
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