Warner Brothers recently canceled the “Batgirl” film starring Leslie Grace and Michael Keaton. A lot of fans are disheartened by this news. Over 300 people had jobs on this project; the directors of the film have been quoted saying they are “saddened and shocked.” However, the cancellation of the film could mean bigger and better things for Batgirl – and the first step to a more structured DCEU.
Feeling that this is unfair after reading the news about the cancellation of the first superhero film starring an Afro-Latina is natural. Some fans have even gone as far as to say that they are now worried about the Blue Beetle film, starring Xolo Maridueña, possibly being canceled. However, that is a stretch.
Here are some reasons why you should feel better than ever as a DC fan:
When HBOMAX was launched, Warnermedia was run by Jason Kilar who pushed for movies to be released directly on streaming platforms in an effort to raise the subscriber numbers for the platform. Since then, Kilar has left and now David Zaslav occupies his former role. He is a firm believer that cinema is a better way to go for money and for fans.
The lowest budget film for Disney’s MCU was “Ant-man” at $130 million dollars. The last DC film in theaters was “The Batman,” which had a budget of $185 million dollars. The “Batgirl” film had a budget of $90 million and starred a big-name cast featuring Leslie Grace with the likes of Michael Keaton (“Birdman,” “Beetlejuice”), JK Simmons (“Whiplash,” “Spiderman”), and Brendan Fraser (“The Mummy,” “George of The Jungle.”) If you look at how much each of the stars makes per film, it’s realistic to assume that the casting cost upwards of $20 million dollars. A superhero film with an estimated budget of $70 million – not including marketing – is incredibly low for today.
Brendan Fraser was slated to play the long beloved Batman antagonist Firefly, who is a pyromaniac that rides around on a jetpack lighting things on fire with a flamethrower. He’s surely a character who would demand a high CGI budget. “The Batman” did not have a story that demanded a lot of CGI. The villains consisted of mobsters and a serial killer, but still had more than double the budget of “Batgirl.” Of course, Batman is a bigger IP and has films that have grossed a billion dollars – a higher budget is obvious, but that doesn’t take away from the extremely low budget “Batgirl” had compared to other Superhero movies.
Would you really want the first Afro-Latina superhero film to also be the lowest budget DCEU superhero film?
“Batgirl” didn’t get the love she deserved, despite having an eye-popping cast. Nevertheless, Warner Bros has publicly stated that they’re excited to continue working with the projects’ “creators and star,” which is a clear sign that Leslie Grace will be on screen as “Batgirl” soon.
If David Zaslav is seeking to bring more structure to the DCEU, then getting all the movies to release in theaters is a good first step. Remember, Robert Pattinson’s Batman universe is a stand-alone Batman franchise and will not connect with “Batgirl” or any other DCEU project.
“The Flash” movie starring Ezra Miller is still set to come out, however, due to his recent public outbursts, Warner Bros canceled the HBOMAX series which he was going to star in after his film. Perhaps Leslie Grace will get that slot and we will have a more flushed-out introduction to “Batgirl” in a series format.
Zaslav is also a big fan of “Superman.” It’s clear that the best move Warner Bros could make for the DCEU would be to put Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam against Henry Cavill’s Superman. The one thing the DCEU lacked is a great story to build up to a great conflict like that.
Marvel made over 10 films before Thanos faced the Avengers. DC now has 2 films for “Aquaman” and “Wonder Woman,” an upcoming “Blue Beetle” movie, Sasha Calle as “Supergirl,” and a new project with Leslie Grace to be announced.
DC has laid the foundation to not only reform the Justice League, but also with the young Latino stars at the forefront, there is a possibility for a “Young Justice” film starring Batgirl, Blue Beetle, Supergirl, and Shazam.
If that happens, and Henry Cavill makes his return, we will have a true DC universe.