Backlash over the decision to shelve the Leslie Grace film bat girl was “blown out of line” according to a top executive at Warner Bros Discovery.
Gunnar Wiedenfels, the company’s chief financial officer, spoke Thursday (September 8) at the Bank of America Securities Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference about the studio’s decision to cancel the $90 million Warner Bros/DC film — and the outrage about it.
He said: “For me it’s a bit over the top in terms of outside attention.
“The focus is on us spending more on content here than at any time in the history of the two legacy companies. We continue to make significant investments – [but] we make them different.”
In August, it was announced that the film would not be released in theaters, HBO Max or anywhere else due to a “strategic change” in the studio’s leadership.
“The decision not to release bat girl reflects the strategic shift in our leadership in relation to the DC Universe and HBO Max,” said a spokesman for Warner Bros. Picture. “Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actress and this decision does not reflect her achievement.”
According to media reports, the film, which would also have marked Michael Keaton’s return as Caped Crusader, was canceled due to an inflated budget of more than $100m (£81.9m) and negative test screenings.
The wrap claimed that Warner Bros Discovery bosses, led by David Zaslav, felt it bat girl wasn’t the theatrical film they wanted for their DC movies since it was made for a streaming service.
On Thursday, Wiedenfels addressed the coverage of the film’s cancellation by saying, “Media likes to talk about media, I think.”
On the film’s eventual fate, he added, “I don’t think it’s unusual. We’re a creative industry and one of the elements of creativity is that there are judgments and views about what the potential of a particular piece is [intellectual property] could be.”
In response to the news that bat girl Dominican-American actress Grace, 27, said she was “proud of the love, hard work and intention that all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over seven months in Scotland.”
That in the heights Star also thanked all of her fans “for the love and faith that made it possible for me to take on the cloak and, as Babs put it best, become ‘my own friggin’ hero.'”
Directing duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said they were “sad and shocked by the news”.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/batgirl-cancelled-warner-bros-leslie-grace-b2163671.html Batgirl’s cancellation was “disproportionately inflated” by the media, says Warner Bros Discovery CFO