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Warner Bros.' Explanation For Batgirl Cancelation Rings Hollow

Fans of the DC Extended Universe got a nasty Hollywood wake-up call this week, with the fine folks at Warner Bros. choosing to scrap its $90 million "Batgirl" movie even though the film is for all intents and purposes ... finished.

"The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership's strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max," a spokesperson told reporters of the studio boondoggle (via The Hollywood Reporter). Sounds more like a scene out of "Margin Call" than a mea culpa, which many people figured would be offered up by Warner Bros. execs after such a massive fumble. But instead, Leslie Grace and all her hardworking creative collaborators got a mouthful of corporate jargon. 

Movie insiders have cited numerous reasons for "Batgirl" getting batarang'd, including an industry departure from straight-to-streaming projects, which sources say just don't make sense financially anymore, per the Los Angeles Times. Another major reason was that "Batgirl" reportedly bombed in test screenings and Warner Bros. didn't feel like footing the $30-50 million bill to market and a theatrically release the next "Morbius" (via Vanity Fair). If that's indeed the case, the studio should at least be honest about it, instead of providing the most hollow explanation possible, which just keeps getting worse the more you read it.

Warner Bros: 'This decision is not a reflection of [Leslie Grace's] performance

Ah, the ol' "this is not a reflection of your performance" tactic. A corporate tale as old as time. In its explanation, Warner Bros. used some of the most empty business speak possible to help cover its company tracks and save face with both Leslie Grace and audiences.

"Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance," the studio statement reads. "We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt [which was also canned] and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future." 

Warner Bros. seems to be in financial crisis mode, and other cancelations could be on the way. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. Discovery leadership has been looking to somehow conjure up $3 billion in cost savings following the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger in April. This has so far included scrapping the $300 million streaming service CNN+ and the J.J. Abrams sci-fi drama series "Demimonde," which had a proposed budget of around $200 million (via Deadline). 

Right now, we're all just waiting to see if the bean counters at Warner are fast enough to catch ongoing PR nightmare "The Flash."