The cancellation of Batgirl proves to us once again that chaos reigns in the DCEU and that Warner is totally lost. We take stock.
What a pleasant surprise for directors Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi when, during the second's wedding, the news broke: Warner throws Batgirl in the trash. This is an unprecedented case, an unprecedented decision on the part of such a large film company. The explanation: a change in direction for WarnerMedia brought about by its merger with Discovery. A drastic overhaul of the company's plans is underway and is throwing the DCEU, more than ever, into a mess.
Until then, Warner had accustomed us to constantly losing course like a ship without a captain. Between desperate attempts to imitate Marvel, proliferation of projects and anarchic business strategies, many have almost given up on the idea of understanding anything about all this mess. The nonchalant abandon of Batgirl is the last straw that comes to overflow these stables of Augeans.
However, since we remain, in spite of ourselves, fascinated by disasters, we must up our courage to take stockon the situation at WarnerMedia and the future of the DCEU.
splendor and misery of warner
Starting his superhero universe with Man of Steel, Warner had found his own identity. By hiring Zack Snyder, a filmmaker with a very identified style, and entrusting him with the DCEU, Warner had something to win. We are then in 2013. Faced with the advance of Marvel and the triumph of its first Avengers, the firm's impatience is felt. She then asks the impossible of Zack Snyder. Batman v Superman is set to be both a first Batman movie, a second Superman movie, and a prequel to Justice League. A hybrid monster emerges and divides the audience. Nobody can be satisfied with the result and even Zack Snyder will later admit that Warner was infernal on the production of the feature film.
Warner seems to already not know how to manage his plans. Between Suicide Squad which is an insignificant response to Guardians of the Galaxy, doubts about its own cast, a toxic atmosphere and a fragile long-term plan, nothing does not work as expected. Last Hope: The trio of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman shine in Justice League. Unfortunately, even when we try to avoid the wall, it is sometimes the wall that bumps into us. Zack Snyder pulled out of the project due to personal drama and left the project to Joss Whedon.
Whedon being responsible for the first two Avengers, he offers the hope the company can replicate what worked for Kevin Feige. Surprise: it doesn't work. In 2017, Justice League is a public and critical failure that is both a pale copy of Snyder and a sick version of Avengers. Success not being there, everything explodes. Zack Snyder is no longer on board and no one seems to know how to take over the DCEU. Five years later, the results are overwhelming.
Glancing through our guide to DC's blueprints, from 2020, Widescreen was giddy. Between incompetence and misadventures, Warner has deployed a staggering number of projects now postponed or abandoned.Without ever managing to have a clear agenda, the firm's communication slowly became confused between rumors and total radio silence. Film disavowals are announced almost by chance. Sometimes from the mouths of the actors themselves, as was the case for the abandonment of Gotham City Sirens, learned via Margot Robbie.
Ben Affleck gets ejected from his Batman and from there, it's the fall. Cyborg is tossed into oblivion. The Jokerby Jared Leto is obviously no longer relevant. Green Lantern? No news. Nightwing? It's no. Deathstroke? Gone with Ben Affleck. New Gods? Canceled due to the Snyder Cut. Justice League Dark? Probably shelved after the Suicide Squad stampede. Static Shock? Sorry, who? Also, no info on the fate of Man of Steel 2or Wonder Woman 3. Even Henry Cavill's return as Superman is still a huge question mark today.
The SnyderVerse is gone for good. Despite the huge success of the Snyder Cut, Jason Kilar (Chairman of WarnerMedia until April 2022) does not see this as an opportunity to get the DCEU back on track. It is the triumph of SVoD that interests him. Seeing the Covid pandemic as an opportunity, he sees HBO Max as the future of WarnerMedia. This is how multiple minor projects are developed for the streaming platform, series derived from The Batman and various larger films are threatened with failure at Kilar's whim. . Batgirl was thus born in this strategic context.
Since until then, it was already not complicated enough, 2022 marks a new twist for the company. Since its merger with Discovery, Warner wants to completely overhaul the DCEU and once again try to compete with Marvel. David Zaslav, managing director of Discovery, replaces Jason Kilar at the head of WarnerMedia and arrives with markedly different ambitions from his predecessor. Not being as passionate as this one about streaming, he immediately rolled back the expansion of HBO Max.
According to a source at The Wrap, this redesign would be so brutal that 70% of the platform's creative development staff are about to be laid off< /strong>. A direction at the antipodes of what Warner was heading towards so far. “It looks like they don't want to do any more shows for HBO Max,”said The Wrap. That wouldn't mean that shows like Peacemakeror others are abandoned. It would rather be an emergency stop to the proliferation of projects of all kinds and therefore the gradual (or even clear) end of Kilar's plan to favor quantity over quality.
David Zaslav has also very recently recruited Alan Horn, a former Disney creative who operated with Kevin Feige on Marvel from 2012. This one could become a new supervisor of choice for the DCEU. The firm, as it announced, has not abandoned its sad intention of aping the empire of Kevin Feige. To do this, a vast cleaning will take place: the plan is to release all parasitic projects for a possible reboot of the DC universe. Admittedly also motivated by a desire to be exonerated from his losses, this strategy kills two birds with one stone.
So David Zaslav said: “< strong>The decision made for Batgirl reflects [her] change in tactics with regards to HBO Max and the DC Universe.“. out of order if they are no longer deemed good enough for the big screen. The production of the Wonder Twins movie, to a lesser extent, has already met a disastrous fate as a result of this philosophy. it's also likely that others, like the movie Blue Beetle, will also be in the hot seat.
A new, but still fairly uncertain future for the DCEU. While a possible reboot of the superheroic universe has been long overdue with the film The Flash,one does not fail to wonder what will become of the rest. Already vestiges of another era, the former members of the Justice League will have to find their salvation or not via the rift in the Multiverse (a concept brought back into fashion by Marvel and which offers all the shortcuts in the world – what a godsend!). Thus Ben Affleck's Batman will return from limbo once again in Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom, while Michael Keaton's should return in The Flash (now that his return in Batgirl is forgotten).
Adding the Robert Pattinson version to it, will there be a Batman: No Wayne Home? Apart from the joke, now nothing is out of reach. Shazam ! Fury of the Gods and Black Adam, scheduled for 2022, will have to ensure the transition from one DCEU to another, pending the reset announced by The Flash. A process that is not easy with the various troubles caused by its star actor, Ezra Miller and the mess of script rewrites. Moreover, as the film's release approaches, Warner does not communicate much about it (and besides, be careful, Shazam 2 and Aquaman 2 could be pushed back according to rumours). Reassuring.
Finally,the Batgirl case is, so to speak, symptomatic of the coming DC era. What is not likely to change, however, is that Warner will always try to get his head out of the mess he finds himself in, one way or another. Meanwhile, Marvel has little to worry about.