HBO Max and its parent company Warner Bros. have had quite a week of entertainment news, particularly when it comes to HBO Max and its parent company Warner Bros. The discovery. Tuesday, it was announced that the previously announced and nearly finished Batgirl movie intended for HBO Max would be shelved.
Reports claim that the film will not be released on any platform or format, as it will be used as a tax deduction. There were other announcements, including the Scoob! According to the streamer, the sequel has also been shelved.
Additional news followed on Wednesday when several original movies were quietly removed from the platform and an animated series was canceled despite a full season already underway. All of the announcements come ahead of Warner Bros.’s annual presentation.
DC’s decision on Thursday set off a lot of speculation about the fate of other projects in development, both feature films and series, as well as projects already scheduled for release. The “doom and gloom” reaction to DC’s seemingly abrupt shifts has dominated much of the speculation, but there’s another way to look at it.
WB. HBO Max’s shifting strategy might actually be an opportunity for DC Film to finally find its footing. The unvarnished truth about superhero entertainment is that DC Film is not Marvel Studios. It isn’t necessarily a comment on which one is “better,” as both DC and Marvel have fantastic characters and stories, and both have produced both good and bad projects.
It’s important to note that Marvel is a much better-oiled machine than DC that has been steadily working along a path and plan that consistently delivers. On the other hand, DC is, to put it bluntly, a mess. The DCEU hasn’t quite panned out quite the way that was originally hoped for or planned for, especially with Justice League’s problems.
The direction has seemingly lost focus with Zack Snyder’s interconnected universe no longer being the focus, while the setting remains. In addition, there are a lot of other films – such as Joker and The Batman – that are under the DC Films banner but are separate from the DCEU, some of which have characters that appear in the DCEU.
Even before you consider the various scandals and the various announced and in development projects that may or may not be part of a larger storytelling plan – if there is one – and the recent revelations about Michael Keaton’s Batman returning in a DC “multiverse.”
It’s a lot to sort through. And while there are some interesting projects that were, at least until the last few days, possible in all of that, and HBO Max itself is a very promising platform, streaming may not be the right move at this point in time given the tangled mess that is the DC live-action landscape. There is certainly a place for streaming in the world of live-action superheroes.
Disney+ has proven that with Marvel’s expansion into various series, but again, Marvel has refined its universe and its process. Marvel doesn’t exactly have as many scattershot projects as DC does. DC must get its focus and its plan together before it can truly maximize its streaming offerings in a way that is both beneficial to the company as well as popular with fans.
This leads us back to the strategic shift coming from Warner Bros. The idea of discovery and opportunity. By focusing less on streaming content, they can tighten up their theatrical offerings and plan a better future. As far as Warner Bros. is concerned, there are several approaches it can take.
There are several possible paths Discovery could take with this – a nuclear option of starting over with a new DC Films head is one, getting the major completed theatrical projects out the door and then taking a breath before proceeding is another, and even exploring the idea of not trying to replicate Marvel’s MCU is instead of focusing on more individual, well-crafted films is another – but shifting away from streaming as an outlet for original DC programming makes the space for that and it could lead to more consistent content that is lucrative and entertaining.
In the end, losing Batgirl and many other projects that were in the works stinks, not just for fans but also for the people who put their hearts and souls into them. It is truly sad that some of these projects that mean so much to people won’t see the light of day and that some very much-needed representation won’t be made available to audiences.
However, if Warner Bros. The DC Universe could finally get on the path to not copy Marvel’s success but truly bring the wide and wondrous stories of the DC Universe to life as never before if Discovery plays their cards right.
Robert Poirrer is a contributing author who covers Hollywood latest movie releases and web series for the MovieThop website. He has a decade of experience in writing movies based articles for numerous renowned media outlets. He is excellent at creating unique content based on emerging trends in a variety of categories especially entertainment, movies and lifestyle. When not writing articles you could find Robert enjoying mountain biking trips with his friends. He graduated in English Literature from North Carolina State University.