The new era of Warner Bros. Discovery has just debuted, and in addition to looking at the shape of the entire DCEU, they’re considering a theatrical release of the next Batgirl movie. At least, that’s the word by Matthew Belloni latest newsletter from Puck.
The film, – which features Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, JK Simmons like James Gordon, Brendan Fraser like Firefly and (rumored) Michael Keaton like Bruce Wayne – is slated for release on HBO Max, but Belloni reports that renewed interest in going to theaters is causing the studio to reconsider how to release the $70 million film. It’s also reconsidering the former studio chief’s whole Streaming First mantra Jason Kilar.
Kilar’s singular mission, as anyone who accompanied him will know, was to grow the streaming service to compete with Netflix, the entertainment industry’s north star, even if that meant downscaling – sorry, scaling – century-old theatrical activity. . So debuting on HBO Max a mid-budget DC movie, based on a known but untested character who is already starring in a TV show, made perfect sense. But maybe, Toby Emmerich and his Warners team think, it’s time to pour a little more money into Batgirl, maybe increase the visual effects, music budget and planned marketing spend. , and give the movie a theatrical release first?
The Batman has just been released on HBO Max and is doing very well (as my Facebook feed attests) and The Fall of Netflix has everyone wondering if streaming really is the be all and end all of media – because the flatness of early streaming movies was noted everywhere.
And the passive, forgettable digital content farm experience is a huge problem for Netflix, which, above all else, spends billions creating properties that people care about. It’s also a big plus for movie theaters and for studios who might want to think twice about putting their movies on it or not.
Although the cinema is not quite where it was before Covid, people seem to want to leave their homes for exciting superhero adventures on the big screen. And the thought of Grace, Keaton, Simmons and Frasier having fun might be enough to get someone to sit in a reclining seat at the local plex.
Batgirl itself is written by Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey) and directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life), and seems to play fast and furious with varying levels of multiversal continuity – as Keaton’s reported appearance suggests. There’s been a lot of speculation about who else will be in the film – but so far only one image of Grace’s Instagram account is the only image on which we must continue.