Batgirl Reportedly Being Considered For Theatrical Release Instead of Straight-to-Streaming Debut

Posted 2022/04/25 11 0


As the corporate structure of Warner Bros. studios changes, the new hierarchy in the management is making some changes to its most crucial film unit, DC Films. And that includes the projects lined up for the ongoing DC Extended Universe, an attempt from DC to create a Marvel-like live-action cinematic universe of interconnected stories featured in both films and television series.

In context to the recent merger, WB executive Tony Emmerich is considering Batgirl for a theatrical release after the new CEO David Zaslav’s takeover of the studio, Puck reports. Batgirl was earlier supposed to be an HBO Max original film, set in the DCEU, along with another entry within the franchise, Blue Beetle.

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Now, after Blue Beetle was moved to theatrical release, it looks like Barbara Gordon’s “insane entry into the DCEU” will also hit the big screens first before it debuts on the streaming platform. The film will feature Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon’s daughter who resorts to vigilantism like Bruce Wayne’s Batman.

New Management Looking to Change Course on Batgirl

When Batgirl was first announced, the film industry was going through a change due to the theater shutdowns caused by the pandemic. Furthermore, HBO Max was in its infancy and the studio was primarily focused on the streaming business to compete against Disney+ and Netflix. Given all studios’ projects going to streaming, HBO Max kicked the post-pandemic promotions for HBO Max with the announcement of projects like Zack Snyder’s Justice League and confirmed a simultaneous theatrical+streaming release for its 2021 films such as The Suicide Squad, Matrix: Resurrections, and Dune.

Among these announcements were Batgirl and Blue Beetle, DCEU’s streaming-exclusive entries, which the studio hoped to balance its audience between theaters and HBO Max, and hence offset the profits on both ends. But, in the past few months, the theater business has been up and running and the films, especially from big blockbuster franchises, are earning colossal box-office returns. Recently, The Batman earned more than $700M at the global box office and showed huge numbers on its 45-Days post-theatrical release HBO Max debut.

Given that the studio is doing good business in theaters and Batgirl is an important DCEU entry, the new WB execs are probably looking forward to making the best out of it. Furthermore, having big live-action comic-book adaptations like The Batman and The Flash debuting in theaters while first-timers like Batgirl and Blue Beetle left for small screens doesn’t put the studio in a good position. With Batgirl, the studio can go back to the traditional theatrical release and then have the audience drawn to HBO Max after a month and a half of the film’s debut on big screens. That way, the studio makes a few hundred million dollars in big screens and then recreates those numbers in the form of HBO Max subscriptions.

Batgirl is an essential continuation to the ongoing DCEU storyline and experiencing it in theaters will be a delight. Batgirl was earlier set to release late this year, but the decision to release it in theaters may change the schedule just like the studio did with other DCEU films.

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