Warner Bros. Discovery stunned DC Comics fans on Tuesday when the studio announced that it was pulling the plug on the Batgirl movie. While the film was originally headed to HBO Max, there was talk of expanding it to theaters, which made the sudden decision to completely shelve the project altogether all the more surprising. Not only did the film have Michael Keaton reprising his role as Batman, but Brendan Fraser had been tapped to play the movie’s villain Firefly.
“A minute after this story posted got a call from a rival studio exec who was floored by move,” Deadline reporter Justin Kroll tweeted. “‘Worked in this town for three decades and this is some unprecedented sh*t right here.'”
A minute after this story posted got a call from a rival studio exec who was floored by move. "Worked in this town for three decades and this is some unprecedented shit right here." https://t.co/A3aBLPulWz
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) August 2, 2022
Naturally, fans on social media have been reacting heatedly to the news, but Brendan Fraser fans seem particularly aggrieved. The actor started trending on Twitter as fans couldn’t believe that Warner Bros. would just go ahead and shelve a film that locked down The Mummy star as a Batman villain. It just didn’t make any sense.
You can see some of the reactions below:
Bro we really lost Brendan Fraser as a Batman villain?? This truly feels unreal.
— Andrew J. Salazar (@AndrewJ626) August 2, 2022
NOO THE BRENDAN FRASER RENAISSANCE TOOK A HIT
I REPEAT, THE BRENDAN FRASER RENAISSANCE TOOK A HIT pic.twitter.com/8QwSxfj2q5
— 🦇 (@gothamfreak_) August 2, 2022
I'm sorry, but you can NOT just make a movie with BRENDAN FRASER and just throw it to the curb
It MUST be released pic.twitter.com/88uGfK0uFd
— 🐁Alex the Mouse🐁 (@RealAlexMouse) August 2, 2022
when someone has the audacity to cancel a brendan fraser movie pic.twitter.com/Ez3yZh4SQd
— miccaeli ✍️ (@renegadeapostle) August 3, 2022
Everything I've heard about Batgirl makes me feel so sorry for the entire team behind it. Also from my Cliffie, I would give everything to see Brendan Fraser as Firefly😢 pic.twitter.com/hFdmJBVsD1
— Doom Patrol Shots (@DoomPatrolShots) August 2, 2022
Cancelling a comic book movie where Brendan Fraser plays the villain has got to be a war crime of some kind https://t.co/ndjQEfuHNb
— Raised By Stories (@RaisedStories) August 3, 2022
If it wasn't cancelled, Batgirl would have been:
-One of the first, if not the first, superhero movies with a latina actress as the lead
-One of the first superhero movies with a trans person playing a trans person
-BRENDAN FRASER'S RETURN TO THE BIG SCREEN!
— Toganium (@toganium) August 3, 2022
We were getting Brendan Fraser as Firefly😩 pic.twitter.com/7WPdHVvkkt
— Ollie 🏹 (@TheQuiver_) August 3, 2022
— Tony (@LastNameBravo) August 2, 2022
As for why Warner Bros. made the unprecedented move to shelve a superhero blockbuster that was, by accounts, mostly finished, it’s a tale as old as time: For the tax write-off. Via Variety:
Releasing the movie on HBO Max would seem to be the most obvious solution. Instead, the company has shelved “Batgirl” — along with the “Scoob!” sequel — and several sources say it will almost certainly take a tax write-down on both films, seen internally as the most financially sound way to recoup the costs (at least, on an accountant’s ledger). It could justify that by chalking it up to a post-merger change of strategy.
Needless to say, #ReleaseBatgirl has already become a thing, but after recently getting burnt by the “Release The Snyder Cut” campaign, maybe don’t hold your breath on Warner Bros. giving into this latest hashtag.