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No, the Conversation About ‘Batgirl’ Wasn’t Blown out of Proportion, Warner Bros.

Leslie Grace as Batgirl in HBO Max's 'Batgirl'.

As if the Batgirl saga weren’t enough, it now seems as if those behind the newly merged Warner Bros. Discovery (or at least their Chief Financial Officer) think that everyone upset by the cancellation was just blowing it out of proportion. The cancellation came as a shock to so many given the fact that the movie had wrapped and was in post-production when the studio decided that the straight to HBO Max movie was not worth it and would be used, instead, as a tax write-off.

For fans, it was upsetting because so many of us (yes, I’m including myself) were so happy that we’d finally get Barbara Gordon in her own movie, and with Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne helping her! It was an exciting time, and directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have never let me down, and neither has screenwriter Christina Hodson. So, this was all-around one of my most anticipated DCEU movies. The cancellation came as a shock and hurt, but now, the CFO of WBD is acting like it wasn’t even that big of a deal.

CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels has decided that it was his time to shine! Speaking at the Bank of America Securities Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference (as reported by Variety), he decided to tell everyone that media was gonna media and that the outrage many of us (including those of us who are fans of the character Batgirl and were excited about the film!) were blowing the entire thing out of proportion. Why? Because I guess we just wanted the clicks. Couldn’t be that anyone was genuinely calling WBD out for shelving a finished movie that starred a woman of color as Barbara Gordon? Seems like Wiedenfels just wants to cover WBD’s own ass instead of listening to why people were upset!

“To me, you know, it’s blown out of proportion a little bit, in terms of the attention externally,” said Wiedenfels. “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’re continuing to make significant investments — [but] we’ll make them differently.”

“Media likes to talk about media, I guess,” Wiedenfels went on to say. “I don’t think it is unusual. We are a creative industry and one of the elements of creativity is that there is judgment and views on what the potential of what a certain piece of [intellectual property] might be.”

It’s isn’t just media talking about media

Boiling it down to “not being a big deal” is bad enough, but the “media likes to talk about media, I guess” comment completely dismisses fans who were also upset about the cancellation. It is a big deal. You’re shelving a finished movie for tax purposes. You’re taking something that could have meant a LOT to fans, kids, whoever out there, and you’re putting it in the trash because it doesn’t fit some “vision” that you have to make the DCEU like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s what this is.

I don’t know how to reach out to those in charge of WBD, but I don’t want the DCEU to be like the MCU. They’re different. Those characters are different, the setup is different, and just mirroring the same format as another popular comic book franchise is going to just produce similar content as said franchise without nuance.

Batgirl was going to be part of the DCEU that I enjoy. The Birds of Prey section of it. The Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 (without the bad bits) side of things. Instead, it got pushed aside for what? The Flash, which is littered with controversy thanks to star Ezra Miller, but because the movie got good test audience reactions, they’d rather promote a film with a problematic lead than keep a movie that has been a long time coming? Okay! As much as I was excited about The Flash prior to everything that has happened, I hate that now it is the movie I get when I won’t ever get to see Batgirl.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.