There’s a lot to talk about this week. We have some more news on the unfortunate fate of the completed-and-canceled Batgirl movie. Warner Bros is shifting around the theatrical dates of its biggest movies. A new Star Wars series promises no fan-service, King Kong is expanding his influence, and Matt Reeves is delivering more Batman projects. Check out everything that happened this week.
The Fate of the Batgirl Movie
The one film that has received the worst treatment amid the WB/Discovery merger has been “Batgirl”. The DC Comics characters were nearing the end of its $90 million production and getting ready for a debut on HBO Max. The film, unfortunately, has been removed from Warner Bros’s release schedule.
No, wait, it’s even worse than that. The “Batgirl” movie has apparently been scrubbed from the hard drives at Warner Bros. Directors Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi went to check on the drives for their film and found that it was removed. So it’s looking far less likely that Warner Bros will ever release the film.
According to Collider, it seems that Warner Bros will at least be holding a funeral screening for the “Batgirl” movie. What this means is that there will be special screening for those who worked on the movie. This audience will include the cast and crew as well as a few executives and representatives. Once these screenings finish, it seems as though WB will trash all plans for releasing the film.
“Batgirl” is one of many films that have been axed despite being far enough along during the post-production phase. Another unfortunate film to fall as well has been “Scoob Holiday Haunt”, the sequel to 2020’s “Scoob”. The animated film has been removed from theatrical and HBO Max release but still paid for the musical score which was recorded over the film very recently.
Shazam 2 and Aquaman 2 Delayed
Among the major restructuring going on at Warner Bros, some superhero films have moved dates. It’s uncertain whether this move coincides with the WB merger with Discovery but something has resulted in the shifting of dates yet again.
“Shazam 2” had been holding for the longest time as a Christmas release for 2022. The sequel will now be moving to the Spring of 2023. But, hold on, isn’t that when “Aquaman 2” was supposed to release in theaters? Well, as the domino effect goes, “Aquaman 2” is now moving even further into the schedule for a Christmas 2023 release.
Currently, Warner Bros has no plans to move “Black Adam” from its October release date this year. It’s likely too late to pull out now given the abundance of trailers and being less than two months from release. If “Black Adam” were to change dates, it’s likely to move the rest of the films.
So why the sudden change in dates for DC Comics movies? A likely hypothesis is the crowding of Christmas releases. Disney is already aiming to conquer this holiday season with the release of the long-awaited sequel to “Avatar”. Disney recently announced that the first “Avatar” movie would be returning to theaters in IMAX this September. With the hype already building for this sci-fi epic by James Cameron, it’s likely that Warner Bros doesn’t want to lose that business to a Disney film.
Andor Won’t Be a Star Wars Series with Fan-Service
Disney+ will be debuting yet another Star Wars series and it’s yet another continuance of a character. “Andor” will coincide with the events of 2016’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, the story that takes place right before the events of “Star Wars: A New Hope”. Diego Luna will return to the role of the Rebel spy Cassian Andor. The series is being helmed by Rogue One screenwriter Tony Gilroy and will run for 12 episodes in its first season, five of which will be written by Gilroy.
Gilroy spoke with Variety about how he wasn’t exactly aiming to make such a show but was eventually convinced by Lucasfilm to work on it. He spoke about how interested he was in exploring more of the underdogs of the Star Wars world:
“They’ve made all this IP about the royal family, in essence. It’s been great. But there’s a billion, billion, billion other beings in the galaxy. There’s plumbers and cosmeticians. Journalists! What are their lives like? The revolution is affecting them just as much as anybody else. Why not use the ‘Star Wars’ canon as a host organism for absolutely realistic, passionate, dramatic storytelling?”
Going even further, Gilroy specified that his show will not be loaded with fan service and winks to other Star Wars movies with the inclusion of legacy characters.
“It’s never cynical. It’s always meant to be there. It’s always protein; it’s never icing.”
“Andor” will debut on Disney+ starting September 21, 2022.
King Kong Series Being Developed For Disney+
Ever since King Kong and Godzilla battled each other in the 2021 crossover film Godzilla vs. Kong, there’s been some talk about the future of these two giant monsters. Godzilla’s presence seems mighty strong as projects will continue in both America and Japan for the radioactive giant monster. But what of King Kong? Don’t worry, the giant ape hasn’t been forgotten about. In fact, one of the biggest studios is giving the monster his own series.
According to MotionPictures.org, Disney is seeking to develop a King Kong series with James Wan (“Aquaman”) executive producing. The show will be a serialized adventure intended to debut on Disney+. This comes on top of King Kong shows currently in development for Apple+ and Netflix. So it’s looking like King Kong might have a bigger presence on streaming services.
There’s no word yet on when the show will hit Disney+.
Matt Reeves Signs Batman Deal
With Warner Bros finding big success at the theater with Matt Reeves’s “The Batman”, it was highly speculated that the director would be helming even more Batman projects for the studio. There was already talk of a spin-off series for The Penguin and a sequel to “The Batman” seems to be in the very early stages. That being said, there wasn’t as big a deal put in place yet as there was for James Gunn following “The Suicide Squad” and “Peacemaker”.
But according to Deadline, Matt Reeves has signed a deal with Warner Bros regarding exclusive rights to his work. This means that Reeves is not only confirmed for developing The Batman 2 but also that he’ll have a heavier range of influence over the production, including choice in senior level executive.
The Batman 2 (not the official title) is currently in the early stages of pre-production.