Following the shocking announcement that Warner Bros. Discovery was indefinitely shelving the Batgirl movie for the sole purpose of obtaining a tax write-off, the newly-merged studio found itself plagued with one bad headline after another for nearly the entire month of August. For a while, absolutely nothing looked safe (particularly for the DC Comics brand) as projects were cancelled and blockbusters were delayed.
However, things seem to be steadying. The Batman and Joker sequels are moving along, Harley Quinn was renewed, and the studio appears to be getting its house in order. As for whether WBD is concerned that it tarnished its reputation with Hollywood creatives after shelving Batgirl, not one bit.
During a recent appearance at the Bank of America Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference, WBD Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels gave the following answer when asked about the damaging headlines surrounding Batgirl: “Media likes to talk about media, I guess.”
According to Wiedenfels, WBD has a new team coming in that is fully invested in strengthening the DC Comics brand and leveraging it a better way than just dumping movies on HBO Max. Via Deadline:
“The focus is, on a go-forward basis here, we’re spending more than ever in the history of the two legacy companies on content. We will continue to make significant investments. We’ll make them differently and with a different financial rigor and a different focus on full utilization across all platforms, etc., but this is the lifeblood of the company and we’ll continue to be investing in it.”
In another sign that WBD is committed to giving DC blockbusters wide theatrical releases, the studio has been extremely hesitant to pull the plug on The Flash despite legal troubles surrounding star Ezra Miller. The film has reportedly been doing well with test audiences and could be a major hit that the studio needs to strengthen the DC Comics brand after the one-two punch of Zack Snyder followed by the pandemic. All WBD has to do is not cancel entire movies for the tax write-off. It seems easy enough, and yet, here we are.