It’s been a tough week for Batgirl‘s creative team. Warner Bros. Discovery has pulled a bizarre move by writing the entire film off for taxes, which costs $90M to produce and was nearly finished. Given their work on Bad Boys For Life and Ms. Marvel, it seemed bizarre for many that a film directed by Adil El Arbi and Billal Fallah wouldn’t be able to live up to any standards. Still, Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav saw the “right” decision to protect the DC brands.
What wasn’t the right decision was that the team wasn’t even informed until the news first broke through the New York Post. Even Walter Hamada, the CEO of DC Films, only found out as the decision was already made during a screening of Black Adam without even being consulted. Now, director Adil El Arbi shared an e-mail they received from Marvel Studios director Kevin Feige on the matter painting a very big contrast between the way it’s being handled by executives of different corporations.
Feige sending out this e-mail is definitely a showcase of a closer relationship with talent over at Marvel Studios, but also simply a showcase of kindness that anyone would need if their passion project is just pulled to save money. The film business has always found a balance between the two sides, but Warner Bros. Discovery current moves are certainly more business than artistic, adding pressure to future talent potentially joining any future project.
He wasn’t the only one to reach out, as it seems that the Batgirl director’s were also given support by James Gunn and Edgar Wright, who famously lost their own passion projects. While for different reasons, there are always going to be moments where things just don’t come together creatively as intended. But, this case is less a creative difference but a bizarre move by a company to save as little money as possible.