Is the superhero bubble about to burst?
Warner Bros. has been trying its hardest to find the right identity for its DC extended universe. While Marvel has found a rhythm and succeeded in creating an intertwining cinematic universe that has dominated box offices for years, DC has struggled to find the right tone for its heroes.
CEO David Zaslav and other members of the studio have stated that they are committed to making DC titles big theatrical event films much in the same vein as Marvel’s films, but their recent titles have faced a slew of problems.
Warner Bros.' most problematic film at the moment is The Flash. After finally giving the speedster his first solo movie, there is a strong possibility that the film will get shelved due to the countless delays, personnel changes, and the off-screen troubles with lead star, Ezra Miller.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the news over the past few months, Miller has been at the center of many unfortunate and violent controversies since filming for The Flash wrapped in October 2021. These problems surrounding the film's star have led the studio to cut ties with them and look for ways to salvage the project without them leading the all-star cast.
The fate of the film remains unknown. It looks like there is a good chance of the film going straight to streaming or being shelved and shielded from the public eye like DC’s other big-budget superhero film.
Warner Bros. announced that it will not release Batgirl theatrically or on HBO Max. An insider revealed to The Wrap that the $90 million project is effectively dead. Despite several reshoots and an increased budget, the studio decided that the movie simply did not work. This falls in line with Warner Bros.' new mandate to cut back on the feature films premiering on streaming services, and decide which films will be released theatrically and which will be shelved. Batgirl, unfortunately, did not make the cut.
Batgirl would have been the heroine's first appearance on the silver screen. Being the daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, Barbara Gordon is one of the most popular superheroes in the world, yet the studio did not feel that the movie was strong enough to meet the studio's expectations of the DCEU.
Together, both The Flash and Batgirl have cost Warner Bros. more than $300 million, but it is a safer bet for the studio to shelve the projects now rather than spend more money to market the films. The Flash is still set to release on June 23, 2023, but we will keep you updated on the fate of the film.
Could this be the sign that the superhero bubble is about to burst, and the industry's most lucrative genre could be tapped of all its potential?
Let us know what you think in the comments!