In the wake of the cancellation of the Batgirl movie and the desire of the new Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav to find new leadership for DC, film president Walter Hamada considered exiting the studio and sought counsel, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed. As per the report, Hamada has for now agreed to remain till Dwayne Johnson’s Balck Adam debuts on October 21 this year. A source told THR, “He’s pausing. The decision has not been made to make this adversarial, yet,”
During the recently held Warner Bros. investors call Zaslav expressed the desire to stabilize the DC business to compete with the likes of Disney and Marvel Studios. Zaslav said, “We think we can build a much stronger, sustainable growth business out of DC. As part of that, we are going to focus on quality. We are not going to release any film before it’s ready … DC is something we can make better.” The tension arises as Zaslav has vowed to ‘reset’ DC with a 10-year-plan to make it more profitable.
It is reported that Hamada was informed at the Black Adam test screening by Warner Bros. Pictures Group co-chairpersons and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy of the cancellation of the Batgirl movie. The film starred Leslie Grace and is directed by duo Bilall Fallah, and Adil El Arbi. The HBO Max original movie cost the studio $90 million and was in post-production. The reasoning given to Hamada was that under Zaslav’s strategy, Batgirl isn’t strong enough to release theatrically and was too expensive for a streaming release. The studio is also under pressure to cut costs and decided to shelve the project completely.
Hamada is said to be upset about not being consulted beforehand and is concerned about the impact on the cast and crew that was involved in the project. The cancellation news was broken by the New York Post on August 2 before the talent and their representatives could be formally informed. Per the report, the film had low test scores and was described as “irredeemable.”
Hamada joined DC in 2018 from New Line Cinema when the studio was still grappling with losses and controversy of the 2017 Justice League. During his tenure, DC came out with movies like Oscar favorite Joker by Todd Philip starring Joaquin Phoenix, along with James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, and Matt Reeves’ The Batman starring Robert Pattinson. Rather than striving for an interconnected universe like Marvel, under Hamada’s direction, DC has made loosely connected stories as well as standalone.
While many shows and movies have been canceled in wake of Zaslav’s new regime we are yet to see what the future of DC movies looks like.