It always felt like this film was cursed because it first started off as a Joss Whedon production but then got shelved after allegations surrounding the director and then it got new legs, well that was until recently.

Before I go into recent events I want to be clear about where I stand when it comes to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse: I am not for it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Zack Snyder’s work, I loved Man of Steel and Zack Snyder’s Justice League as well as other productions like Sucker Punch, Army of The Dead and Watchmen. I just do not want Zack to have to deal with Warner Bros. again. I think that Snyder Cut was the perfect example of what he can accomplish when he is left to his own devices and I do not think WB will ever let him do that again also a lot of the directors and creatives who were going to be a part of that universe have moved on already.

Just some quick background: Earlier in the week it was announced that the Batgirl film was being shelved (meaning it was not going to be released in theatres or on streaming or at all for that matter) the project was dead. And although we are all used to productions at DC being announced and then scrapped (for example, the Cyborg film, the sequel to Man of Steel, the New Gods film etc.) this was a particular shock because Batgirl had already been shot and cost close to 90 million dollars. Why would WB choose not to continue with this film? Well according to Warner Bros Discovery… It was cheaper…? Batgirl was made under different management at WB when it was announced and shot. And unfortunately, it is not big enough to release to theatres and is not seen as a feasible option to drive up subscriber count on a streaming service.

Batgirl getting shelved:

People were clearly distraught and confused at the fact that a film that was already filmed was not going to be able to be seen anywhere. The directors of the film, Adril El Arbi and Bilall Fallah took to social media to express their feelings on the decision. “We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it,” the directors wrote on Instagram. “As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves.”

The sentiment the directors expressed is not something, that as an avid DC fan, I was unfamiliar with, WB has had a past of distorting their directors’ work to fit a narrative or to appease public attitude. Arbi and Fallah join other jilted directors like Snyder and David Ayer.

Ray Fisher versus Batgirl:

When WB found itself trending again for the wrong reasons, Fisher took to Twitter to remind people that Walter Hamada who was the head of DC Entertainment before the merge needed to apologise for all that happened during the Justice League investigation. Well, some people took that Fisher to trying to make this Batgirl news all about him others bashed him for not reading the room. I think Fisher’s tweet made me remember that many of the people who were wrong during the Justice League investigation were probably never going to be held accountable for all they did to Fisher and others who participated in the investigation. Instead, Hamada, Geoff Johns and Ann Sarnoff are going to get their severance packages (if they get removed) and sail off into the sunset while the new management deals with the fallout. Was it the right time for Fisher to do such a thing? Honestly, I do not know because Fisher has never been given the grace of feeling how he felt about all that went down without being accused of using the moment or having bad timing. It’s unfair to him but I understand that it might have felt like it was too soon.

#RestoreTheSnyderVerse vs Batgirl mourners:

There is a weird thing happening online right now where people are either laughing at the Batgirl news or utterly distraught and accusing the new management at WB of being racist. To the former all I can say is a clean slate does not mean that Synder will ever have his universe restored. To the latter: What did you expect? The new and diverse slate, which included two Latina actresses and a Black Superman were merely reactionary after the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. None of these decisions were made in good faith but as a way to draw attention away from the fact that WB could no longer deny that the original theatrical release of Justice League cut out and cut down almost all the people of colour, most notably The Stone family, Ryan Choi, Kiersey Clemons and Harry Lennix. WB had to do damage control because nobody believed the ommissions and cuts could be nothing but intentional bias against actors of colour. 

Another sad thing about all of this is that it splits the DC fanbase again (which I believe is the reason The Suicide Squad did not do well) because one side of the fanbase cannot believe the hypocrisy of the other side. First for working with WB after all they had done but also because they only want to see the racism the studio is known for when it is their favourite character or production that gets the axe. The other side is being accused of being insensitive and cannot let things go.

Conclusion:

I feel bad for the Batgirl cast (Leslie Grace, JK Simmons & Brendan Fraser) and crew who may never see their vision come to life as the release of Snyder Cut seems like a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Again, look at what happened to Ayer. I feel bad for the Latina community who not only saw the loss of Batgirl but a potential Supergirl film being benched as well. I feel bad for all of us Black and People of Colour who feel disillusioned with WB and DC. Is there a way for WB/DC to scrape together any goodwill going forward? I do not know. Especially with the controversy around both The Flash film and the Aquaman sequel.

Shazam: Fury of the Gods and Black Adam have to be really good to get the bitter taste out of their consumers’ mouths.