Batgirl’s cancellation is bad news for all superhero movies. here’s why

Discovery of Warner Bros. He surprised audiences everywhere with yesterday’s announcement of his DCEU movie. Bat girl It will not premiere, not even on HBO Max. This is a huge hit for the fans who were looking forward to it. in the heights Leslie Grace’s take on the superhero role, as well as the promised appearance of Michael Keaton, reprising his role as Batman.

Because it was Bat girl completely shelved and not even given the consolation prize of being dumped in streaming? And could the decision become a new standard in superhero and genre films, a benchmark for a future of the industry limited to big-budget movies? Let us consider the Bat girl decision…

Bat girl it exists as a strange in-between of the DCEU. It is not the central show of League of Justice either aquaman, but it’s also not the smaller-scale fare you’d see in The CW’s Arrowverse. Instead, it’s essentially the superhero equivalent of a TV movie, with a comparatively modest budget of $75 million coming to $90 million due to some unavoidable delays and protocols.

But canceling a movie entirely is incredibly rare. So what is the fault? The change in management after the Discovery merger is a leading theory, with VarietySources claimed that the tax break the film would generate was the best way to recoup the huge cost of the film.

The future of Warner Bros. movies seems to lie in big-budget blockbusters. Warner Bros.

Bat girl is not the only victim of this change of hands. Scoob!: A Vacation Spot, the sequel to the Warner Bros. film Scooby Doo Scooby!, was also archived. Weirdly, HBO Max Original Movies Like Robert Zemeckis’ Dahl Adaptation The witches and the Seth Rogen comedy an american pickle they are being completely erased from the streaming platform.

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This is a huge turning point for the streaming landscape as a whole. It appears that the streaming-only release of movies is being completely removed from one of the most popular services. If this is the case, it would eliminate a huge opportunity for mid-budget movies that may not guarantee a full theatrical release but can still find an audience on HBO Max; it was arguably the streamer that defined the highly successful streaming model.

In 2021, Warner Bros. jumped at the chance to set a day-and-date release of its original movies on HBO Max. Fans could catch Dune at home or in theaters the same day. So why not give movies the same chance now?

DuneThe simultaneous release of day and date was just a circumstantial fluke, not a show of faith in the broadcast.Warner Bros.

Taken fully into account, it looks like HBO Max is undergoing a post-merger rebrand to focus on the kinds of projects that made HBO a premium cable powerhouse in the first place. Some of the projects that joined the merger will be the victims of this decision. While this may be understandable from a corporate perspective, it could set a dangerous precedent for streaming services, as the files people rely on to rewatch may not be available. In the future, we may see works that don’t reflect current culture completely ripped from broadcast, limiting the scope of easily accessible content.

It’s worth noting that it’s not just HBO Max’s future catalog that’s uncertain, but the very existence of the streaming service. Discovery has its own streaming service, Discovery+, and it’s not yet clear how the two services would combine. This day, the envelope reported that HBO Max is expected to lay off around 70 percent of its development staff as part of a move away from scripted shows, further questioning the future of the streaming service.

How will HBO Max face the merger as a streaming service?NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Bat girl‘s bookshelf is a sign of the times. In this age of the streaming age, services seem increasingly wary of taking risks on smaller jobs, especially franchises that often involve superhero movies. But this ignores the on-screen superhero genre basis of low-budget works like the original Superman and Batman series. If those works were able to rely on their audiences to overlook low production values ​​and less than stellar special effects, why can’t that philosophy continue in today’s peak content media landscape?

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Streaming services have long been a way for media companies to distribute a wide swath of content and broaden audiences’ horizons in the process, but this may be our first sign that curation is the future of the services landscape. of transmission. HBO Max’s next evolution (if it has one) may be as a streamer that values ​​quality over quantity. Whether or not that will reflect well on the public remains to be seen, but one thing is undeniable: Bat girl is the unwitting poster child of this sea change.

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