David Zaslav has shipped out another series from HBO Max amid incidents of the widespread internal restructuring under the new management wing of Warner Bros. Discovery. While the news is not a surprise (given how many Max Originals and the streaming platform’s resident films and series are being cut loose), it still hits the raw wound of the shelved Batgirl marred worse by the cancellations that have now moved past the label of not-good-enough to financial liabilities.
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David Zaslav Invents a Digital Era Scorched Earth Policy
The rampant reorientation of David Zaslav‘s Warner Bros. universe is being irrevocably marked by strategic cancellations performed unilaterally and with unbiased judgment and precision. The news of the gradual snuffing out of aspects of DCEU and HBO Max among other things is being received amid continual backlash, and yet Zaslav’s plan is a juggernaut incapable of being brought to a halt simply by the force of the people’s collective will.
The initial blow below the knee came without warning and the industry felt the shock when the $90 million HBO Max film, Batgirl was euthanized. Although the move was an unnerving attempt at undermining the position of the streaming platform with respect to theatrical releases, Zaslav was clever enough to provide a brief moment of respite for the clamoring to die down before continuing on his warpath.
David Zaslav Ships Batman: Caped Crusader Out of HBO Max
After weeding out the DCEU, Zaslav moves on to HBO Max and Warner Bros. Animation to seek out what isn’t worth holding on to anymore. The Batgirl, Scoob!, and Wonder Twins move felt like a desperate and necessary attempt at bringing WB a substantial tax write-off. And even though no reports of the company needing an economic re-evaluation surfaced in recent reports, the shelving was accredited as a financial move in addition to quality issues, the latter of which seems sincerely doubtful.
The vendetta against DC continues on as the latest in line to walk the plank includes Batman: Caped Crusader. The series which promises to “reinvent Batman and his iconic rogue’s gallery with sophisticated storytelling, nuanced characters, and intense action sequences all set in a visually striking world” is one in six total animated projects that will be shipped out to other streaming services while continuing production but will no longer be a part of HBO Max.
The collaborative effort between Warner Bros. Animation will however continue with the executive producers on the said projects. Among the EPs are the visionary JJ Abrams, Matt Reeves, Bruce Timm, and Ed Brubaker who will stay associated with the projects in their designated capacity.