The newly-merged multinational Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. (WBD) announced recently that upcoming DC film, Leslie Grace vehicle and Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah-directed Batgirl, would be canceled. Now, among reports that the spinoff prequel to Scooby-Doo reimagining Scoob! (2020), Scoob! Holiday Haunt has also been unceremoniously shelved, Warner Bros. cast and crew have decided to speak out regarding their time on the canceled projects.
Warner Bros. and Warner Animation Group’s Scoob! debut was plagued with delays, finally opening on July 10, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Set in a Hanna-Barbera multiverse of sorts, Scoob! starred the vocal talents of Zac Efron as Fred Jones, Amanda Seyfried as Daphne Blake, Will Forte as Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, Gina Rodriguez as Velma and Frank Welker as Scooby-Doo. Tracy Morgan (Captain Caveman), Mark Wahlberg (Blue Falcon), Jason Isaacs (Dick Dastardly), Ken Jeong (Dynomutt), and Kiersey Clemons (Dee Dee Skyes) also starred.
In light of this Warner Bros. Discovery announcement, Scoob! Holiday Haunt actor Iain Armitage, the voice of Young Shaggy, opens up on Twitter about what it was like working on the now-axed Warner Bros. movie — only playing the prequel’s Shaggy character just last week:
I’m very sorry to share this sad news. I LOVED working on this, and just did another session as Young Shaggy last week and the film looked just about complete. It was such a joy and so many people worked so hard. 😢
I’m very sorry to share this sad news. I LOVED working on this, and just did another session as Young Shaggy last week and the film looked just about complete. It was such a joy and so many people worked so hard. 😢 https://t.co/HToGPVAR9Q
— Iain Armitage (@IainLoveTheatre) August 3, 2022
Armitage clearly states that “the film looked just about complete”, and having done a voice session only a week ago, it’s extremely telling that Warner Bros. Discovery waited until the very last minute to cancel these projects that were essentially already finished and ready for viewing.
This announcement coming from Warner Bros. Discovery post-merger has obviously come as a huge shock to the public — but has particularly had unprecedented effects on the cast and crew. Gaëtan De Oliveira, an animator now at 2K Games Montreal, who also goes by the Twitter handle @Bakurio_, shared just how much this announcement was a “knife in [their] heart”:
I worked months on this project, almost had a burnout because of it and after animation was OVER !!! I left the company for a new adventure. But learning this today, on internet, is a knife in my heart… Don’t care too much about your work people, it will only end badly…
I worked months on this project, almost had a burnout because of it and after animation was OVER !!! I left the company for a new adventure.
But learning this today, on internet, is a knife in my heart… Don't care too much about your work people, it will only end badly… https://t.co/QejPc7lbFC
— Bakurio (@Bakurio_) August 3, 2022
This also tells us that the higher-ups at Warner Bros. Discovery are feeling quite… trigger-happy at the moment when it comes to shooting down pre-existing individual projects, and that opens the door to entire franchises, regardless of whether they’re completed or not — anything under them really — could be in their crosshairs.
It stands to reason that franchises like Harry Potter‘s Wizarding World ought to be quaking in their magical boots, considering a Harry Potter reboot is in the cards and the continued furor surrounding author J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts stars Johnny Depp and Ezra Miller might not be entirely worth the trouble.
Meanwhile, fans worry over the continuation of HBO Max, especially recently greenlit projects such as (Marvel’s Thor franchise director) Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby-centered pirate “office” comedy and rom-com, Our Flag Means Death (2022).
Twitter user and fan @ofmdframes tweets frustratedly:
Our Flag Means Death fandom staring intently at @hbomax @WBHomeEnt cancelling Batgirl to remind them we would literally eat every executive alive. Also give us merch and Blu-Rays, we are trying to throw money at you. Do y’all not like money? Isn’t that like y’all’s whole thing?
Our Flag Means Death fandom staring intently at @hbomax @WBHomeEnt cancelling Batgirl to remind them we would literally eat every executive alive. Also give us merch and Blu-Rays, we are trying to throw money at you. Do y'all not like money? Isn't that like y'all's whole thing? pic.twitter.com/x9qYNhSMN0
— Our Flag Means Death Frames (@ofmdframes) August 3, 2022
It sounds like Warner Bros. Discovery aren’t stepping up to the plate.
The cancelation of near-complete movies like Leslie Grace’s Batgirl and Scoob! Haunted Holiday definitely sets a bad precedent for future Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO Max projects.
Time will have to tell, however — and we will just have to keep our fingers crossed regarding the future of any of our favorite films franchises or television series.
Are you worried about the future of Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO Max? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Warner Bros. Discovery owns the wildly popular DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and the DC superhero film Justice League, which consists of Superman/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman/Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), Batman/Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), Aquaman/Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), The Flash/ (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg/Victor Stone (Ray Fisher).
The unreleased Batgirl is a superhero film directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah would have followed the exploits of Leslie Grace’s Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner Gordon of the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD), in a more domestic role as James “Jim” Gordon (J. K. Simmons) .
Jacob Scipio would have played Anthony Bressi, mob boss in Gotham City, and Brendan Fraser would have been Ted Carson / Firefly, a pyromaniac and sociopathic veteran.
An alternate-universe Batman AKA Gotham City elite and wealthy socialite Bruce Wayne is played by Michael Keaton, returning to his iconic role.