As shared by ComicBook.com, Peter Safran stated that he believed shelving the Adil El Arbi and Bilal Fallah directed “Batgirl” film was best for everyone involved. Not only did he consider it the right choice, but he went on to frame the decision as “very bold and courageous.” Safran said that:
“Batgirl’s a character that inevitably we will include in our story … I saw the [unreleased] movie, and there are a lot of incredibly talented people in front of and behind the camera on that film. But that film was not releasable, and it happens sometimes … I actually think that [president and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery David] Zaslav and the team made a very bold and courageous decision to cancel it because it would have hurt DC. It would have hurt those people involved.”
Since Safran did not provide a specific reason (other than that “it was built for the small screen,” which clarifies nothing in a time when blockbuster movies frequently are made for streaming), this is fairly open to interpretation. He could be condemning the performances of Leslie Grace, J.K. Simmons, Brendan Fraser, and Michael Keaton. Conversely, he could be condemning the perceived financial prospects of “Batgirl.” He could be condemning some other factor entirely.
Regardless of where Safran lays the blame, his statement rings dissonant against the greater context surrounding “Batgirl.” The Hollywood Reporter noted that the single screening of “Batgirl” received landed a comparable test audience score to the 2017 remake of “It,” which more than made its money back, and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” which DC still plans to release later this year.
The only thing that Safran’s statement clearly reveals is that he’s willing to publicly support his new boss.