If The Batgirl is Too Bad To Release, Explain This, DC

DC has suddenly decided, it seems, to institute this strange new thing called “standards”.

As you might have heard, Warner Bros Discovery has opted to scrap the now-completed Batgirl movie, starring Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon, has been scrapped, with no release, either cinematic or streaming, now planned. According to some sources close to the production, early test screenings were received so dreadfully by audiences that the movie was written off as “irredeemable”, and DC productions decided to scrap the $70 million-budgeted, all-but-completed film rather than let it see the light of day. Apparently, the film doesn’t meet the standards of the “spectacle that audiences have come to expect from DC fare”.

And look, maybe The Batgirl really is that bad. I doubt we’ll ever find out. Given the quality of DC’s previous releases, it wouldn’t entirely shock me to my core (even though their woman-centric stuff has been markedly better than their other movies, but still). But let us be utterly and totally honest: it’s downright hard to believe that this is where DC draws the line in terms of quality.

Allow me to take a small skip down memory lane with you, starting with 2013’s Man of Steel. “There’s only one way this can end: either you die, or I do!” is a pretty fair summation of the effort put into the writing and actual storytelling of this movie – that’s two ways, actually, and your movie sucks. Starring a dead-eyed, big-armed Henry Cavill, and a dead-eyed, smaller-armed Kevin Costner, it was a terrifying announcement of the quality (and grey colour schemes) to come.

Then, of course, Batman vs Superman. I remember sitting in the cinema with my friends, watching this movie, and like Cinemassandra, prophetess of doom – I knew this was going to suck absolute ass from the moment I walked out of Man of Steel, from the second I heard the painfully boring Ben Affleck was taking the Batman role, but nobody believed me until we sat down for this two-and-a-half hour dream sequence delivery device. Batman vs Superman is probably the dreadful DC movie I would actually watch again, because it is undeniably so fucking funny – the jar of piss, Henry Cavill making flowers for dinner, the iconic “sAvvvvee moooARRThaa” moment. I cannot believe Zack Snyder was not instantly blacklisted from movie-making and society at large for this abomination.

Maybe because it was overshadowed by the screaming awfulness of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad shortly afterwards. Now, Suicide Squad is probably the film I hate most in the entire world: it’s utterly boring, utterly uninspired, utterly edgelordy bullshit, so comically misogynistic it almost justifies the existence of the entire feminist movement in one fell swoop. A waste of good talent (Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Viola Davis), it’s an insufferably stupid, convoluted, and idiotic. There isn’t even a good movie anywhere in here, even if I dedicated three straight years trying to craft one from what we got. At least it acted as an electric-fenced holding pen for Jared Leto’s career for a bit, even if his Joker is an act of warfare against me personally.

And then, you’ve got the double-whammy of both Justice Leagues. The first one is bad enough – that “racial tension” joke keeps me up at night – and the making-of only served to cast a darker shadow over it than the sheer quality of the film already had. Thank God, then, that Zack Snyder got to make the version of the film he always wanted to, which is just as bad, but much longer.

The DC movies released so far have not just been bad, but legendarily so. This studio didn’t simply release some rubbish movies, it released several of the worst films ever made. And now, they’re going to claim that quality is a concern? That The Batgirl does not live up to the standards set for DC fare? It might well be a bad film, might well even be a terrible one, but I find it hard to believe it’s going to look worse for DC than the absolute cavalcade of cinematic garbage they’ve gleefully put into the world before this.

(header image via Screen Crush)

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