Warner Bros. and DC canceled projects include Batgirl, Green Lantern, and Zatanna.
The comic book movie landscape was rocked last week when it was announced that Warner Bros and DC canceled the highly-anticipated Batgirl movie. This was notable for a number of different reasons, but mainly because A: the movie was already completed and B: it supposedly cost nearly $100 million dollars to make.
This is practically unheard of in the modern-day movie landscape, and this move is far from the last where the studio is concerned. There have already been some moves by Warner Bros. and it looks like more movies or series could be on the chopping block.
Let’s take a look at everything Warner Bros and DC canceled from their projected lineup and what the larger ramifications are for the DC Extended Universe as a whole. We’ll also look at some projects that could face a similar fate as well.
DC CANCELED MOVIES AND SERIES INCLUDE BATGIRL AND GREEN LANTERN
Obviously, this was the big one. It came as an industry-shaking move when Warner Bros. announced that they were canceling Batgirl despite the movie already being in the can. DC canceled the flick which was set to star Leslie Grace as the titular character and had Michael Keaton reprising his Bruce Wayne/ Batman role, JK Simmons on Jim Gordon, and Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly. But though having completed filming, the flick wasn’t meant to be.
Following the DC cancellation announcement, it seemed that the movie’s vision and scope just didn’t align with new CEO David Zaslav’s plan for the DCEU which was to go big or go home. The word that it was “better” for Warner Bros. to take a tax break rather than release the film riled fans, critics, and moviemakers alike. But it wasn’t enough to turn the tide on the movie. This DC canceled movie will, for now, apparently, go down as the biggest, in terms of budget, ever made to be axed before hitting theaters.
Giant Freakin Robot had the exclusive that DC canceled this series and it’s on its way out of the DC Extended Universe thanks to the most recent moves by Warner Bros. With a plan to make only big-budget blockbuster-type movies, series like this don’t seem to be part of the slate. There’s some chance the move is to flip this into a theatrical flick on the back of a pretty popular character.
The last time it was attempted with Ryan Reynolds in the lead, it really didn’t work. But we are in a new age of CGI and special effects meaning the Green Lantern character could translate to the big screen in a better way with a more serious tone for the film.
This planned series was announced all the way back in 2019 with Greg Berlanti as the head of the show. It was set to be a superhero anthology series on HBO Max. Though very little information about the series had been given over the years, Kevin Smith weighed in recently that it looked like the show wasn’t going to make it either.
He said that he’d been working on an episode of the series that was going to feature Jimmy Olsen and Perry White after they’d been taken to a different universe to face Bizarro, an alternate version of Superman. Smith thought that costs likely played a part in why DC canceled it, saying that a series like this with a new story and set of heroes each week would have been expensive.
It should have been a surprise that DC canceled The Wonder Twins and it might have been the first real sign that Batgirl was in trouble, though it would have been tough to predict that particular fate. The planned movie was set to have a $75 million budget in a reimagining of the Zan and Jayna characters.
KJ Apa and Isabel May had been cast in the lead roles and things looked full steam ahead. But it didn’t look like this property or the popularity of the Wonder Twins was going to be enough to warrant this type of budget from the studio.
It was looking like the Zatanna movie had stayed safe throughout all of the DC cuts, but that doesn’t look like it is going to be the case. While this movie isn’t fully canceled by the strictest definition, it won’t be coming to HBO Max either. Instead, screenwriter Emerald Fennel will take the script and shop it elsewhere. That likely means even if it did get made, it wouldn’t be in the DCEU.
LIKELY DC CANCELED BEFORE LONG INCLUDE DOOM PATROL AND HARLEY QUINN
With it appearing like Warner Bros and DC canceled much of its scripted content from HBO Max, this show could definitely be one to go. Giant Freakin Robot had the exclusive that this, and some others weren’t long for the streamer.
The Brendan Fraser starrer has found a niche audience and was even renewed for a fourth season back in October. But that’s definitely in doubt now with the most recent moves. It’s unlikely this is a big enough property, despite the fan and critical love, to have it hang around on the new streamer.
While not official, it looks like DC canceled Harley Quinn which is currently midway through its third season with Kaley Cuoco voicing the titular role. The animated and award-winning series has been a hit on the streamer because of its adult humor and frenetic look at the character who definitely deserves this kind of treatment.
Fully leaning into the fact that it can go R-rated with the content has made this a fan favorite. But the Giant Freakin Robot exclusive had this show going as well.
Titans, like Doom Patrol, has run for three seasons on HBO Max with a fourth season already planned as well. But like the latter, it sure looks like this is going to be the end of the line for the characters and the story. It won’t be a shock if DC canceled this either.
Following Brenton Thwaites’ Nightwing, Anna Diop’s Starfire, and many others of the younger DC contingent, the show had a darker feel and dove into storylines we haven’t seen from the studio on the big screen.
ARROWVERSE DC CANCELLATIONS
The Flash Series
Grant Gustin’s series has run for eight seasons on The CW and there is a ninth on the way. But that’s going to be it for the character with the announcement in March that DC canceled it and this season would be the last. And it looks like it is going to get an abbreviated number of episodes as well. Again, likely as part of the cost-cutting measure and an effort to wrap up the story once and for all, fans will have one more go-around with the speedster.
This series had all kinds of issues from the start. Ruby Rose left after one season and was replaced by Javicia Leslie. While they tried to pick up somewhat where things left off, the show never really recovered ratings-wise and it was DC canceled after three seasons. It’s a shame on this one with both leads actually handling the character very well and the writers doing an admirable job of switching things mid-stream, but the numbers just weren’t there.
Legends of Tomorrow
Legends of Tomorrow ran for seven seasons on The CW and it was the time-traveling story fans were looking for. But it was DC canceled as well, coming as a blow for fans seeing as how the series had left off on a cliffhanger. This is always the fear when becoming invested in this kind of story and we won’t know how things ultimately resolved for this crew.
THE FLASH AND PEACEMAKER SEASON 2 LOOK SAFE
This one almost definitely hit theaters and has already been filmed. In terms of big budget-big payoff projects, The Flash fits the mold for sure. This has been one of the more anticipated movies in some time, set to plunge Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen on his own romp through the equivalent of DC’s Multiverse meeting Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne and Sasha Calle’s Supergirl along the way.
More the issue here would be Miller himself who’s been embroiled in controversy and odd behavior (plus arrests) over the better part of the last year. I suspect we still see it hit the big screen, but it’s not without its issues.
It was already announced that Peacemaker would get a second season after a fantastic first run from James Gunn, John Cena, and company. While this was HBO Max original programming that is looking more and more like a death knell, where Peacemaker differed some is that it wrapped directly into the current DCEU storylines (such as they are).
Extending off of The Suicide Squad and even wrapping in Justice League appearances at the end would make this one feel safer than some of the others.
There are other planned titles that might have their fates sealed sooner than later. But it’s tough to know where that all lands right now. Among those projects are a couple of non-Henry Cavill Superman movies in the works.
One is a movie from JJ Abrams and Ta-Nehisi Coates which was announced a couple of years ago. That apparently was going to adapt the Calvin Hughes version of the character. And there is also Michael B. Jordan’s Val-Zod Superman movie as well. Could these be the kind of blockbusters the studio still wants to work on making?
Additionally, JJ Abrams had signed a massive deal with Warner Bros though the studio has yet to come close on any of those projects. Some of them included projects around John Constantine, and Madame Xanadu. It’s unclear where these are headed.