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The Joker Didn't Cripple 'Batgirl,' It Was Zaslav

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO pulls the plug on $90-million "Batgirl" film.

Photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

LOS ANGELES — "Batgirl" is canceled by Warner Bros. even though the film was in the final stages of post-production. It seems evident President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslav doesn't feel the "Batgirl" project matches his vision of DC movies moving forward.

And dropping "Batgirl" completely, without even an HBO-Max-only release, means the studio will take a $90 million bath without any chance of recouping the production budget.

Yes, Zaslav has sent a message with this move: He is serious about the quality of DC content creation.

Ben Affleck is also returning as Batman/Bruce Wayne for a cameo in "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom." Since test screenings of "Aquaman 2" already revealed Michael Keaton's Batman/Bruce Wayne is in the film the question becomes is Keaton being replaced by the sudden inclusion of Batfleck?

Test screenings of "Aquaman" left audiences confused by the inclusion of Keaton's Batman even though he is set to appear in "The Flash" (2023).

Affleck's sudden return to the role of Bruce Wayne could simply be an attempt to stay in the good graces of Warner executives. Properly saying farewell as Batman will undoubtedly allow the actor to continue his prosperous relationship with Warner Bros. in future films outside of the DCEU.

Now, back to Tim Burton's Bat. Fans already know Keaton shot scenes for 2023's "The Flash," but with Ezra Miller's off-screen antics, is the big-budget "Flash" safe from Zaslav and a similar fate to "Batgirl?"

Consider this: The budget for "The Flash" is north of $200 million.

It's hard to gauge exactly how things are going to move forward in Warner's DC Universe because of conflicting actions. On one hand, "The Flash" television show has been suddenly cancelled with only an abbreviated Season 9 remaining after nearly a decade on the air.

On the other hand, Todd Phillips' "Joker: Folie À Deux" received an official October 4, 2024 release date.

With the future of HBO Max either being dissolved completely, or whether it is merged with HBO and/or Discovery+, the future of the DC Universe is now in the hands of Zaslav.

That future could hinge heavily on the results of Warner Bros. Discovery's second-quarter results which come out today.

According to Refinitiv data, Warner Bros. Discovery is expected to announce a per-share earnings of 1 cent and a second-quarter revenue of $11.84 billion.


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