Canceled Warner Bros. Movie Still Moving Forward With Production Despite Getting Axed

Despite the tidal wave of changes that just rocked Warner Bros, this canceled movie is still somehow moving ahead.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

warner bros discovery scoob: holiday haunt

The media focus around Warner Bros. Discovery’s abrupt and shocking cancelations of a number of upcoming projects has largely been focused on the Batgirl feature film that was to star Leslie Grace, but there was another almost-finished casualty of corporate change: Scoob: Holiday Haunt. The latest product of the venerable Scooby-Doo franchise was scheduled to be released via the HBO Max platform in December of 2022, but now has been permanently shelved. Despite that, it seems the production of Scoob: Holiday Haunt is continuing. Producer Tony Cervone took to Instagram to post a picture taken inside a recording studio, revealing that they were still going ahead and recording the animated film’s score. 

Per Yahoo, Scoob: Holiday Haunt is taking the very unusual step of continuing to record the musical score to the movie, even though it has been canceled. Perhaps Tony Cervone’s caption put it best: “So what do you do when the movie is canceled, but you’ve already paid for the stage and the musicians? You record the damn score!” Reportedly, Scoob: Holiday Haunt cost Warner Bros. Discovery some $40 million in production costs prior to cancelation and was nearly complete. Presumably, part of that cost was the music budget and well, if you have some studio session musicians hanging around, you might as well put them to work. At the very least, we might someday get to hear a new rendition of the iconic Scooby-Doo theme song, specially recorded for Scoob: Holiday Haunt. 

It has been speculated that Warner Bros. Discovery will be pursuing a tax write-off for the enormous amount of money it poured into the production of Scoob: Holiday Haunt and Batgirl (the latter of which was reportedly around $90 million). Presumably, the idea is that they will receive a credit for treating the movies as lost revenue, though it will be the IRS’ call whether voluntarily shelving projects is actually the same thing as a loss. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has become quite controversial quite quickly for upending what seemed to be the company’s plan to lean into using the HBO Max platform as a release strategy for much of their content. According to Zaslav, Warner Bros. Discovery would only release content they “believed” in, which is quite the thing to say in relation to Scooby-Doo.

Instead, projects like Scoob: Holiday Haunt and Batgirl are being scrapped completely. Zaslav’s plan (as he announced at a recent Warner Bros. Discovery Q2 meeting) is to focus on theatrically released films, which puts projects like those in a lonely place. It also is not good news for the rest of the HBO Max slate of projects, like the much anticipated, now canceled Green Lantern series and the critically acclaimed Harley Quinn and Doom Patrol shows. At least we have some consolation that some session musicians did get to perform their duty and get paid for their skills, even if we never get to see exactly how Scooby-Doo and the gang were going to unmask some grouchy old person this time around.