It was just last week when reports hit that Joss Whedon would be stepping down from his role as the writer/director of the in-development Batgirl film over at WB. As you no doubt have read here or elsewhere, he didn’t have a story for it, so he stepped away – and the story goes that the studio was instead looking for a woman to step in and take over the project given the subject matter. It all made perfect sense really.

But THIS week, as minds continually no doubt seem to be changing regarding WB’s DC Films division, TheWrap has reported that Batgirl is no longer a priority for the studio and they instead are firmly focused on getting their mainline Justice League heroes in order first before moving on to the other characters that inhabit those respective spaces.

On one hand, it’s a bit of a bummer, as Batgirl, produced from the perspective of a female filmmaker would surely provide a needed new insight into Gotham and perhaps even make the most jaded of fan interested in the umpteenth iteration of that crime-ridden cityscape.

But then again, to produce any sort of real competition to Marvel and build out that shared universe in a way that will please the fans that are looking for that sort of thing, the pillars have got to be in place. Right now, Wonder Woman is pretty much the only thing that’s on sure footing. It’s possible Aquaman will be a big hit critically and with audiences, and I think with James Wan behind the camera, odds are on their side. But then what?

The surprisingly solid reception Game Night received puts the potential new directors of Flashpoint in a pretty good position to get Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen up on the screen again sooner than later. So let’s assume that happens. Do they give Henry Cavill another go as Superman? Presumably Matt Reeves’ still developing Batman feature will continue to move forward…without doubt there will always be a Batman movie. The report states that a re-do of Green Lantern (no mention of the Corps part of that title) is also a possibility. At this point, I’d probably make my peace with the idea that Cyborg is not going to happen in 2020.

This news also lines up a bit with Joaquin Phoenix’s recent reaction to an interviewer asking him about the Joker origin movie. Spoilers: he either really didn’t know what she was talking about or is a really good deflector. Could go either way. It’s possible those Elseworlds-line of films aren’t as far along as the various outlets supposed.

But here’s the real whopper, pitched right at the end:

In addition, a cloud looms over Warner Bros. because of the lawsuit by the Department of Justice against AT&T’s $85 billion bid to buy studio parent company Time Warner.

If the merger fails, an individual close to the company told TheWrap that Time Warner would likely be broken up into parts and sold separately as Warner Bros., HBO and Turner — leaving the fate of DC Comics a bit up in the air.

Could you imagine WB as its own asset to be bid on separate from the networks? I’m no expert on the regulations here, but I have to presume that could leave the studio (and vis a vis DC Entertainment as a whole) to get picked up by other interested parties who would otherwise have a conflict. Say the House of Mouse, for example.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Warner Brothers never seemed to be really interested in making a Batgirl movie. It seemed to be mainly that Joss Whedon sold them on a Batgirl movie and without him pushing it that there wasn’t going to be anyone else champining it.

  2. Warner Bros.’ strategy should have been (I’m bored at lunch, so just indulge me):

    PHASE ONE
    Justice League Trilogy
    (MoS, BvS, JL (the version of JL that Zack Snyder was planning))
    This would have essentially been a Superman-as-Jesus story with each movie covering a chapter in the Christ story (birth, death, resurrection), with the Justice League team essentially serving in the metaphorical role of his apostles. It would have been a redemption arc for both Batman and Superman and set up the rest of the League (who were essentially in supporting roles) for solo movies/origin stories.

    PHASE TWO
    Solo Movies
    (Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg, Batman, Green Lantern Corps)
    This would have given more background information on each of the rest of the League. As good as Wonder Woman is, I think that structurally it should have been released after Justice League (again, an actual good version of JL that matched Snyder’s original vision). I think the Batman movie should have been Godfather II in structure (set in the present with liberal use of flashbacks throughout to explain what happened to Robin). It should end with Bruce Wayne setting up a Batman Beyond scenario (a Terry McGuinness type character takes over the Batman role in a high-tech Bat-suit (like an Iron Man version of Batman) with Bruce Wayne taking on a more supporting role going forward. A high-tech Batman would allow the character to have more of an active role in future Justice League adventures. Phase Two should have ended with Green Lantern Corps setting up a more cosmic adventure for the Justice League sequel.

    PHASE THREE
    Justice League Part Two
    A more cosmic version of the Justice League that builds off of Green Lantern Corps and also introduces characters like the Thanagarians and Adam Strange.

    PHASE THREE
    All the Other Characters
    At this point WB could introduce all the other characters like Batgirl, Hawkman, Atom, Green Arrow, etc. It should only have been at this point that WB released films like Shazam! or Suicide Squad.

    Alas, WB had no strategy. Actually, I think they did have a strategy that was fully thought out by Zack Snyder and team. But they brought Geoff Johns who clearly had no idea what he was doing and the DCEU became a free-for-all.

    (I’m willing to bet that the new DC Films production logo that first played before Wonder Woman was all Geoff Johns’ idea: it was aesthetically ugly, terribly executed, and confusing as hell. I counted at least a third of the characters in that image are Green Lanterns, which, if you’re a movie studio, the last thing you want to do is to use your production logo as a showcase to remind everyone of the studio’s greatest failure (2011’s Green Lantern movie))

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