Nobody in Hollywood (besides David Zaslav) has come out pro-Batgirl cancellation, but it’s no surprise that Kevin Smith would have something to say about the decision. In a new episode of his YouTube series Hollywood Babble-On, the director says what we’re all thinking: “It’s tough sometimes to be a DC fan.”
“It’s an incredibly bad look to cancel the Latina Batgirl movie, you know what I’m saying?” Smith opines. “I don’t give a shit if the movie was absolute fuckin’ dogshit … And I guarantee you that it wasn’t. The two directors who directed that movie did a couple of episodes of Ms. Marvel, and it was a wonderful fuckin’ show and they had more money to do Batgirl than they had to do an episode of Ms. Marvel and stuff.”
Smith, who has directed episodes of DC series like Supergirl and The Flash, observes, “And the big complaint they said here is like, ‘Well, it wasn’t big enough to be a fuckin’ theatrical release… it looked too cheap because it was a $90 million movie.’ How do you make a cheap looking $90 million fucking movie? But if it looked…like, slightly better than an episode of, you know, Arrow, why couldn’t we have seen that?” He adds ominously, “It feels like there’s more than just, like, we’re gonna save $20 million.”
Of course, it wasn’t just Batgirl that got the ax; with Zaslav’s stated intent to focus on theatrical releases for the DCEU, the company also canceled a handful of other planned streaming films and series–including a planned Strange Adventures anthology show that Smith was involved in.
On Hollywood Babble-On, Smith explains the plot of his scrapped Bizarro episode of Strange Adventures, revealing that they were pursuing Nicolas Cage (!!!) for the role. However, he concedes that the cancellation “kinda made sense” because it was an expensive series based on obscure characters. But, he questions, “Who the fuck don’t know Batgirl?”
“And more importantly, like, with all due respect to everyone in the cast, I’m sure they did a great job, Michael fucking Keaton came back as Batman and now we’re not gonna fuckin’ see that,” Smith laments. “And it’s starting to smell like we’re not gonna see him ever. Like, I wouldn’t be surprised if–I know they said like, ‘Flash is safe,’—but I would not be surprised if this was them testing the water to be like, ‘Let’s see what they say if they fuckin’ cancel Batgirl. And if it doesn’t go too badly, maybe we just fuckin’ cancel Flash.’ Because it’s problematic. How are they gonna market that movie without, like, a leading actor to go out on the road and do press and stuff without people being like, ‘Uhh…’”
Smith shares his perspective not just as a fan, but as a director himself. “[Time] was in this business–look, you make art for somebody else, they pay for it, they get to do with it as they want,” he says. “That being said, there was a time when the fucking worst thing a director had to worry about was like, ‘Oh, maybe they don’t take it theatrical. Maybe go straight to video.’ Now they’ve just added a new fear to the mix, which is like, ‘We may not release it at all.’ And, never, in any form.”