The creators of Warner Bros. Discovery’s shelved Scoob! sequel, Holiday Haunt, were reportedly told to go ahead and finish the animated movie—after they’d been told that the film would never be released, and would instead be treated as a tax write-off by the studio.
This is per a recent Variety interview with co-director Michael Kurinsky, who reveals that Holiday Haunt was 95 percent completed when the verdict came down (along with one axing Leslie Grace’s Batgirl movie) that the film would not be getting an anticipated HBO Max release, and would instead be shelved so that the newly merged studio could instead write the film’s costs off on its taxes. That (awful) part has been known for a few months now. But in the interview this weekend, Kurinsky revealed that Warner Bros. Discovery then gave the go-ahead to finish the movie, which it had already told him it wouldn’t be releasing, anyway. Kurinsky, co-director Bill Haller, and their team apparently wrapped up post-production on Friday, at which point the completed movie was presumably locked away in some vault, because if WBD does anything to monetize it, they lose their tax candy.
As anyone who’s ever had something they put their time and energy into discarded by bosses knows, it’s one of the most demoralizing things that can happen in the workplace—but to be told to keep working on it afterwards, because, in Kurinsky’s words, the studio had already “paid to finish the movie”? That’s just incredibly rough. (It’s not entirely clear, from Kurinsky’s comments, whether he and his team were ordered to finish the movie, since the money had already been spent, or allowed to, because the money had already been spent. In a tweet today referencing Kurinsky’s interview, Haller referred to the process of finishing the movie “under the circumstances” as “excruciating” but expressed his pride in the work.)
For his part, Kurinsky—a first-time director who came up as a background illustrator for Disney before working on films like Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and Hotel Transylvania—is trying to put a positive spin on the situation. “At the end of the day, I don’t care why and how it got finished. I’m glad it got finished because so many people worked so hard to make something so beautiful and really great… I’m so thankful for everybody that, even though they knew this thing doesn’t have a chance of coming out, they still worked like it was coming out.”