Following days of speculation on the future of the DCEU at Warner Bros. in the wake of Batgirl and the $90 million cancellation, including by us, it seems some clarification was given a few hours ago on the Warner Bros. Discovery earnings call.

All day, speculation swirled as it became likely that the proposed proposed Supergirl film, starring Sasha Calle reprising the role she first plays in the upcoming The Flash, is likely also canned.

This all seemed to add credence to our view here at Last Movie Outpost that the current DCEU is already dead, and is being put out of its misery by the new leadership at Warners.

DC
The gilet wearing assassin strikes again. He must be angry because his arms are always cold.

On the call with shareholders and analysts it came as no surprise that DC was a key talking point. CEO David Zaslav confirms that a reset is happening and finally they have acknowledged that a plan is needed. A ten year plan, to be precise:

“You look at Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, these are brands that are known everywhere in the world. And the ability to drive those all over the world with great stories is a big opportunity for us. We have done a reset. We’ve restructured the business. We’re going to focus where there will be a team with a ten-year plan focusing just on DC.

It’s very similar to the structure that Alan Horn and Bob Iger put together very effectively with Kevin Feige at Disney. We think that we could build a long-term, much stronger, sustainable growth business out of DC, and as part of that, we’re going to focus on quality.”

Alan Horn is reported to have joined the studio in an advisor role which will include DC projects. Zaslav spoke about the movies that were already in production or in the can:

“We have seen ‘The Flash,’ ‘Black Adam,’ and ‘Shazam 2,’…We are very excited about them. We’ve seen them. We think they are terrific, and we think we can make them even better.”

Does this mean the recently announced delays to Shazam! 2 and Aquaman 2 are for some reshoots? Adding elements that bring the current DCEU to a close? If we were a betting website, we would say yes!

Batgirl-DC
“What do you mean cancelled? We were at my wedding!

All sorts of excuses have been made about Batgirl all over the internet, from stories that it was most definitely not a quality issue, to the tediously inevitable accusation tat it was cancelled because all senior leaders in Hollywood are racist and sexist (thank you Twitter!).

The studio put this all to bed in the call. It was a quality issue, plain and simple. They threw Batgirl under the bus on the call:

“We’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it. That’s it. The objective is to grow the DC brand, to grow the DC characters, but also our job is to protect the DC brand, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

They went even further on the call, completely disowning previous boss Jason Kilar’s strategy:

“This idea of expensive films going to streaming, we cannot find an economic case for it, so we are making a strategic shift. We’re not going to launch a movie until it’s ready. We’re not going to launch a movie to make a quarter, and we’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it.”

Rolling Stone have published extra details on the Batgirl cancellation, confirming an earlier report in Deadline that the movie was pulled as the studio had until the end of August to write off losses from the previous administration as part of the acquisition. This means the loss from Batgirl is parked in an accounting column belonging to the now defunct Warner Bros. and not the shiny new Warner Bros. Discovery.

The same article also mentioned that production company Iwerks tried to use footage from Zack Snyder’s Justice League in a reel they were creating and the studio denied the request, telling them the only official Justice League is the 2017 theatrical release.

Superman black suit

So Zaslav hasn’t managed to completely shitcan all of the idiots at Warner Bros. just yet, then?

Getting a new DCEU will mean new Superman and Wonder Woman in due course, potentially a new Batman depending on the Joker and Pat-Bats approach. However this is happening just as superhero fatigue seems to be setting in and even the mighty Marvel juggernaut is stalling, with Phase 4 largely being a creative washout.

Does this just feel a bit like 2007 and Nokia desperately launching new cellphones as the Apple iPhone is revealed?

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