Many people are perplexed by Warner Bros. Discovery’s decision to cancel Batgirl, questioning why they would scrap what appeared to be a nearly finished film. The Hollywood Reporter has just revealed new information on some early testing for two DC films and what it may have meant for Batgirl.
Despite being widely anticipated, Batgirl (which was slated to be the first Latina to appear in a DC Extended Universe film) did not do well in early screenings. A test screening of an early version of Batgirl with transient visual effects received a score in the low 60s.
Low test scores are not always indicative of a film’s complete failure, as several have gone on to score highly at the box office despite them, despite the picture receiving modest scores. The article also notes that Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the impending Shazam! sequel, also underwent early screening tests in the 1960s. The decision was taken to cancel the movie rather than invest more money in it because of Batgirl’s “small” budget and the fact that it did not seem as theatrical as a more expensive DC movie like The Batman or Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
The article continues by mentioning the company’s underlying philosophy. David Zaslav, the CEO of Discovery, wants to make its comic book movies “feel big” and distribute them in cinemas rather than making smaller movies for streaming platforms. A source reported that it didn’t make sense for the studio to spend upwards of $90 million on a streaming movie that probably won’t attract additional subscribers when they could spend less on the product, which explains in part why this happened.
Regarding the larger DC Extended Universe, it appears like all of the big movies scheduled to air in the upcoming years are still on schedule, at least for the time being. This applies to The Flash, which, according to Rolling Stone, is still on schedule for a 2023 release date despite the myriad difficulties that actor Ezra Miller has encountered recently. What the future holds for the DC Films universe is still unknown, with just five movies — Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Black Adam, The Flash, and Blue Beetle — having set release dates.