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The Banished Batgirl Mystery


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On 8/3/2022 at 7:33 PM, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

They touch the Harley Quinn series, we riot. 

 

 

Interstingly the characterization of Batgirl in the HQ cartoon series is pretty much in line with a fair amount of the Barbara Gordon Batgirl stuff.   The main exception being the long continuity pre-New 52 stuff where Killing Joke and Oracle was her arc.  In that case she hadn't been Batgirl for years, with others taking up her cowl.   

 

This movie seems to be more along the lines of the CW Batwoman or Batman Beyond.   In that Bruce Wayne/Batman is retired, and they need a new Bat to replace him.  But in this case they are jumping back three Batman Movie continuties? (Or is it Four?)  

 

Why not just use the current Batman continuity?  The new Movie might be dark themed and grim, but I think it was a pretty strong offering.  And that way their money and efforts would go to promoting their current franchise.  Not one from back in the 80's.  

 

---

As an aside, the Birds of Prey offering was pretty weak.  With Huntress reduced to joke status.  So they have already messed up on the larger Batgirl side of the Bat Family stuff once already.  It seemed more a vehicle to get more Suicide Squad version of Harley screen time.  Which they could have done without the rest of that mess.  

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Just reactivating this because of a new bit of information I wasn't aware of before.

But this involves some deep film nerd history, so strap in...

 

You may have heard of a bloke called Howard Hughes. Bit of a nutter. Decent engineer, especially when it came to planes (and bras). Quite a cunning businessman in his day.

And one of the jewels in his business crown was RKO Pictures - one of the original Big Five studios.

 

One of the reasons studios used to print money was that they didn't just make pictures. They owned the production rights, the distro networks, even the theatres (known as vertical integration.) Not only that, as such they could bully other chains into taking whole slates of flicks, good or bad (block booking) or fiddle with scheduling of other movies (clearance).

 

This was great for the studios, but not great for cinema owners. So Paramount got hit with a test anti-trust case: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Paramount_Pictures,_Inc

The surrender agreement sheared the studios of all their cinemas, prodded them into breaking out their distro arms more cleanly, and forced them to revise a lot of how they do business. It also became a major bedrock of antitrust laws, and incidentally spurred the rise of indie filmmaking and foreign imports.

 

Oh, and it also killed RKO outright. Hughes saw what was coming, but jumped too early and took a bath on the cinemas. There were also a number of panic decisions, finishing up with flogging his prize asset to a bunch from Chicago who really, really didn't know what to do with a studio. So the only place you'll have seen an RKO Radio Tower since 1959's on a rerun (or The Rocky Horror Picture Show's big dance sequence).

 

So why is all this legal guff important now? 

Weeelllll... [sucks on glasses in a wise yet provocative manner]

 

If you happen to read to the end of that article, the DOJ in 2019 decided to look at any Supreme Court cases that didn't come with automatic end or renewal date.

For reasons best known to them, they picked this one. They disliked it, partly because it seemed outdated, but mainly because it didn't fit that admin's policy goals.

So the DOJ sent it to the Supreme Court in Nov 2019, and they gave it a "sunset" date. That expired... 

 

August 7th, 2022.

 

So, studios now have pretty much free rein to own what they want, sell to who they want, ignore who they want, etc.

Fair enough, the game has changed a lot since the 1950s, with streaming and a wealth of independent talent and whatnot.

 

With this new information on board, and looking back at what WB-D are up to business structure wise - with a lot of the major properties being hived off into holding companies and neat divisions, anything odd or contro getting burned without mercy, and turning tax tricks a-go-go (with multiple film casualties along the way) to clear existing debts...

 

To a very, very cynical eye, it might look like WB-D's being sliced like sashimi into neatly portioned assets ready for sale.

 

What do you guys think?

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Kind of bat-familied out, for whatever reason, so I got no dog in this fight, I suppose.

 

As to the Flash, I always enjoyed watching Ezra Miller in the role, but he's done so many wacky (frankly, douche-baggy) things lately, that I'd honestly rather he just took some time off from acting to get himself some therapy.

 

That's not a cheap shot, by the way.¬† As someone who regularly struggles with extreme, clinical depression, you just can't have a normal life if you don't find a way to deal with that kind of stuff.¬† It's the way it is.¬†¬†ūü§∑‚Äć‚ôāÔłŹ

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18 hours ago, Cancrusher said:

I'd honestly rather he just took some time off from acting to get himself some therapy.

That appears to be happening, per Vanity Fair and others. They haven't specified what's going on, though I quite cynically suspect that will form part of the PR tour.

(If it does inspire other people to seek help, then at least some good has come out of that whole deal. I'm a hell of a lot happier and more together than I've ever been once I did the work, and - being maybe a little over honest - I probably wouldn't have been around here to say that if I hadn't. Things got... grim for a while back there.)

 

Anyhow. I guess WB hired some kind of dogged, Tommy Lee Jones ex-US Marshal type to run him down and corner him before the FBI did, then dragged him into therapy, and surrounded him with a steel ring of lawyers and PR. (EDIT: and thinking about it... I'd quite like to see that movie as much as The Flash.)

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  • 1 month later

Gingerly reopening this jar of rookery whelps for some financial and directorial news.

 

WB-D have just apprised investors of a $4.2bn (OUCH) writedown charge to their current assets. Movies and streaming not being the high-margin business they used to be, this now leaves a $50bn debt load, a reduced $9bn profit target (so now 5.5 to 1 loan gearing - not good), and only $30bn in market cap (the value of the company based on share price). That's not healthy.

 

As the FT article says, bad news doesn't age well, so dumping all of it into one financial year and betting on a good turnaround is a good trick. But I'm not seeing them gel into a slick moneymaking machine they promised the markets any time soon.

 

Black Adam at least is a palpable hit ($147m to date), though not anything like the size of a pre-pandemic Marvel blockbuster - and only roughly on par with Love And Thunder ($144m). They'd better have a hell of a slate coming up...

 

...which they just might do, having just hired James Gunn as creative director of DC Studios, a new entity - WB-D will write off and shutter the previous DC Films unit and rebuild corporate structures from scratch. Reliable big-budget producer Peter Safran (Shazam, Aquaman, The Conjuring, The Suicide Squad) will handle the business end of things.

 

Unless there's some kind of major falling-out with Zaslav (entirely possible), Gunn will be exclusive to DC for the next four years, with only the Holiday Special and GOTG3 (now in post-prod) left on the Marvel slate.

 

It's a bold move, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for them.

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17 hours ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

Gingerly reopening this jar of rookery whelps for some financial and directorial news.

 

WB-D have just apprised investors of a $4.2bn (OUCH) writedown charge to their current assets. Movies and streaming not being the high-margin business they used to be, this now leaves a $50bn debt load, a reduced $9bn profit target (so now 5.5 to 1 loan gearing - not good), and only $30bn in market cap (the value of the company based on share price). That's not healthy.

 

As the FT article says, bad news doesn't age well, so dumping all of it into one financial year and betting on a good turnaround is a good trick. But I'm not seeing them gel into a slick moneymaking machine they promised the markets any time soon.

 

Black Adam at least is a palpable hit ($147m to date), though not anything like the size of a pre-pandemic Marvel blockbuster - and only roughly on par with Love And Thunder ($144m). They'd better have a hell of a slate coming up...

 

...which they just might do, having just hired James Gunn as creative director of DC Studios, a new entity - WB-D will write off and shutter the previous DC Films unit and rebuild corporate structures from scratch. Reliable big-budget producer Peter Safran (Shazam, Aquaman, The Conjuring, The Suicide Squad) will handle the business end of things.

 

Unless there's some kind of major falling-out with Zaslav (entirely possible), Gunn will be exclusive to DC for the next four years, with only the Holiday Special and GOTG3 (now in post-prod) left on the Marvel slate.

 

It's a bold move, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for them.

 

Maybe I'm just too practical or lack "vision", but a stock-change like that would have me thinking low-budget/high-payoff films for the next couple of years rather than dice-rolling huge amounts on potentially iffy blockbusters in hopes of gi-normously huge payouts.

 

Gunn's selection is a surprise to me.  Considering all the ferocity surrounding his past events, his firing, and his re-hiring, I'd have thought they'd want to see how GotG3 was received before offering.  I guess this means that with the 4-year exclusivity for DC, all the fuss for bringing him back to GTOG leads to just a swan song, and others will helm it going forward, assuming the actors stick around. 

 

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  • 1 month later

More Gunn/Safran news, and quite a biggie.

  • DC Studios are reviewing the¬†entire¬†upcoming development slate under Gunn.
  • WW3 has been canned. Gunn, Safran and the WB co-CEOs were kind enough to tell Patty Jenkins why, and in person. WW3 does not "fit with the plan" for DC going forward. (Though for SW fans, this and her dropping out of¬†Cleopatra¬†puts Rogue Squadron back on the table).
  • Man Of Steel¬†/ Black Adam sequel,¬†Aquaman¬†final installment, and a couple of other mooted sequels/teamups also on hold.
  • So¬†The Flash¬†may be the last time we see anyone from the current roster, including Cavill, Momoa, and Dwayne Johnson...¬†
  • ...if¬†it gets released and isn't debt-canned. There are cameos and plotlines in the flick (inc. Cavill) which, again, do not fit with Gunn's new direction. Not to mention a lead actor who'd have to be rolled into the premieres strapped to a trolley Lecter-style. And WB-D are still looking for "purchase accounting" write-offs from the previous administration. Though they'd have to make a call on that quite soon to fit within the IRS tax year, and it wouldn't have quite the same level of benefit as Batgirl's demise before that October deadline.¬†Zaslav seemed to like the flick, or at least said so publically, and it's claimed that it tested well. But that's no guarantee.
  • Trade rag claimed that¬†Flash is not¬†"locked" - so there could be reshoots / re-edit: could¬†be successfully rewritten as per the original¬†Flashpoint¬†to introduce New DC, with 10 years of history (ie: the Snyderverse) officially retconned out. Which would be hilarious from the troll-baiting point of view... but sucks for Cavill, Momoa, Robbie, Gadot, and Cena. (The Batman¬†exists in its own private gothbubble and a sequel is still moving forward.)
  • One other particularly wild rumour going around that Momoa could swap characters to become¬†Lobo, which sounds more like wishful thinking than anything.

Fun times. Thoughts?

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver

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3 hours ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

 

  • Man Of Steel¬†/ Black Adam sequel,¬†Aquaman¬†final installment, and a couple of other mooted sequels/teamups also on hold.

Not to mention that from all reports, Black Adam BOMBED hard. Still in the red in terms of the box office last time I checked. 

Galactic Cerberus and many other Cerbys | Excelsior

She/Her

 

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4 minutes ago, Mayaedits said:

Not to mention that from all reports, Black Adam BOMBED hard. Still in the red in terms of the box office last time I checked. 

Entirely depends on where you check. I've seen other reports where it's in the black. Not majorly but definitely in the black.

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3 hours ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

More Gunn/Safran news, and quite a biggie.

  • DC Studios are reviewing the¬†entire¬†upcoming development slate under Gunn.
  • WW3 has been canned. Gunn, Safran and the WB co-CEOs were kind enough to tell Patty Jenkins why, and in person. WW3 does not "fit with the plan" for DC going forward. (Though for SW fans, this and her dropping out of¬†Cleopatra¬†puts Rogue Squadron back on the table).
  • Man Of Steel¬†/ Black Adam sequel,¬†Aquaman¬†final installment, and a couple of other mooted sequels/teamups also on hold.
  • So¬†The Flash¬†may be the last time we see anyone from the current roster, including Cavill, Momoa, and Dwayne Johnson...¬†
  • ...if¬†it gets released and isn't debt-canned. There are cameos and plotlines in the flick (inc. Cavill) which, again, do not fit with Gunn's new direction. Not to mention a lead actor who'd have to be rolled into the premieres strapped to a trolley Lecter-style. And WB-D are still looking for "purchase accounting" write-offs from the previous administration. Though they'd have to make a call on that quite soon to fit within the IRS tax year, and it wouldn't have quite the same level of benefit as Batgirl's demise before that October deadline.¬†Zaslav seemed to like the flick, or at least said so publically, and it's claimed that it tested well. But that's no guarantee.
  • Trade rag claimed that¬†Flash is not¬†"locked" - so there could be reshoots / re-edit: could¬†be successfully rewritten as per the original¬†Flashpoint¬†to introduce New DC, with 10 years of history (ie: the Snyderverse) officially retconned out. Which would be hilarious from the troll-baiting point of view... but sucks for Cavill, Momoa, Robbie, Gadot, and Cena. (The Batman¬†exists in its own private gothbubble and a sequel is still moving forward.)
  • One other particularly wild rumour going around that Momoa could swap characters to become¬†Lobo, which sounds more like wishful thinking than anything.

Fun times. Thoughts?

 

Hmm. This is just me now, but it looks as though Patty Jenkins' WW3 is canned, not that WW3 in some form isn't happening. And after WW1984 I'm not 100% surprised at that, As for other sequels and so on?  Who knows actually.  It seems to be forgotten by these commenters that Gunn himself is a part of the "previous set of filmakers", and specifically with say "Peace Maker" fought to get that set of cameos at the end, even if two were in shadow.  So there's a lot of speculation mined out of literally nothing in most of that.

 

Again, I could be entirely wrong!

 

On a personal level the only thing I would literally want cancelled immediately is the sequel to Joker. 

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The stories I've read - and while I try and stay off Reddit or the commenter sites, Deadline, THR and Variety usually know what they're about...

...strongly imply that this is a full reboot, which will be outlined at a presentation meeting to Zaslav next week. I would expect a proper anno after that.

There is of course, the possibility that Zaslav hates the new direction and boots Gunn. But that seems unlikely.

 

Re: Adam: yep, the Man In Black is in the black. Sorta.

Looking at the publicly available P&L sheets, the claim is between $50m and $78m in profit, depending on what promotional costs you add in.

(I've waffled on here before about rolling breaks - how studios can add and remove costs to make a picture look like it's a hit or a losing money. Frequently on the same flick, depending on whether you're bigging it up to investors or talking it down the IRS).

 

But of that profit...  ~$50m is a fee WB-D paid itself for the streaming rights on HBO Max, which they couldn't exactly have sold anywhere else.

Without that fee, the margin looks rather slim for that flick. Not great, not terrible... not a hit.

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From the horse’s mouth…


If you carry on through the whole thread, this phrase stands out… the opportunity to build upon what has worked in DC so far & to help rectify what has not.

 

Exactly what (and who) fits in those two categories is going to be a matter for debate, probably with an awful lot of screaming from one particular quarter. 

 

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On 12/8/2022 at 11:28 PM, Glacier Peak said:

The hard part is convincing the audience that their super hero movies are different than Marvels.

Well, having dodgy effects, poor scripting, and sabotaging the lead's normal onscreen persona worked for Black Adam...

[retracts claws]

More weird Zaslav news: if you liked Westworld or (slightly less likely) The Nevers and have HBO Max, watch it soon as they'll be withdrawn from the service to save money on residuals to the performers and crew. This doesn't seem to make a huge amount of sense if you're trying to build a streaming library, but WB-D are also in trouble with ad revenue.

 

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1 hour ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

Well, having dodgy effects, poor scripting, and sabotaging the lead's normal onscreen persona worked for Black Adam...

[retracts claws]

More weird Zaslav news: if you liked Westworld or (slightly less likely) The Nevers and have HBO Max, watch it soon as they'll be withdrawn from the service to save money on residuals to the performers and crew. This doesn't seem to make a huge amount of sense if you're trying to build a streaming library, but WB-D are also in trouble with ad revenue.

If money is the metric used to measure success in movies, (which I'm pretty sure it is), then Marvel's formula is lightyears ahead of DC in that regard. Is it the best quality? Well, that's debated, but again, by what measurement? I personally like them, heck I like all superhero films. Some are terrible, but I will still watch a terrible movie. All I was trying to say. 

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10 hours ago, Mr. Vee said:

I read 'land on a negative note' as 'end with the dumpster fire that was WW2' rather than the intended meaning of something something internets. 

I like that they took a chance with the premise, but the whole movie I was really just not feeling much from the story. Going from Snyder cut Wonder Woman to Wonder Woman two was almost disorienting.

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I hear ya. The ‚Äúbe careful what you wish for‚ÄĚ plot‚Äôs a classic trope and Pedro Pascal was instantly memeable, but Kristin Wiig - great comedian, great actress‚Ķ mutant‚Ķ cat. Hrm.¬†
 

There are a number of rumours about what the WW3 treatment was, but mostly ludicrous and I don’t believe the one about Steve Trevor going in the Lazarus Pit and turning evil, mainly because Pine is already booked for the foreseeable future and turning his hand to indie directing.


Further Gunn news: Cavill has posted that he will not be returning to the cape following an equally cordial meeting with DC Movies. Gunn’s opening take will deal with an earlier chapter in Clark’s life, but not an origin flick.


Which sucks for Henry himself, Supes and Witcher fans, though I’d quite like to see Union Jack or Captain Britain if Marvel are in the mood.
 

Presumably, this also knocks Black Adam 2 on the (shaved, randomly scowling) head.

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On 12/15/2022 at 4:25 AM, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

Further Gunn news: Cavill has posted that he will not be returning to the cape following an equally cordial meeting with DC Movies. Gunn’s opening take will deal with an earlier chapter in Clark’s life, but not an origin flick.


Which sucks for Henry himself, Supes and Witcher fans, though I’d quite like to see Union Jack or Captain Britain if Marvel are in the mood.

There's always room for a "Man From U.N.C.L.E. 2". ūüėĀ¬† I'd watch it.¬† I might be alone in the theater, but I'd watch it.

 

I still think Henry could be the next Bond. 

 

But on a Marvel note: yes, jump ship Henry!  There's so many characters he'd make interesting.  He could even take a shot at his previous role and play Hyperion, the anti-Superman.

 

As regards DC, yes, I have to agree with @Krimson, DC's lack of direction has me floundering in attention and attendance.  That said, if they do reorganize and come out fighting, I do hope they'll build to the big guns.  Don't release a new Superman or Batman or Wonder Woman immediately.  Build the Justice league as the Avengers were built, but in the early years, insert some characters who deserve screentime.  Again referencing a comment by @Krimson, the Question (Vic Sage variety) is an awesome character and would make for an interesting mortal (a la Batman) hero movie. (I'd be open to a storyline involving a relationship with the Huntress as well, based on the very popular dynamic in Justice League Unlimited.) Booster Gold could be a hilarious movie, along the lines of an Ant-Man film. Moving to bigger guns, I'd be down for a solid Green Arrow/Black Canary movie, and it's long overdue for a proper Green Lantern Corp film.  (Maybe they could have an older Hal Jordan already active and serving as mentor to new Lanterns, which role I would immediately hand over to Nathan Fillion, and send him into Hollywood body building training.)  Tease the rise of the Big Trinity throughout the films, build suspense and interest.

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18 hours ago, Techwright said:

There's always room for a "Man From U.N.C.L.E. 2".

Sure. And you wouldn't be alone, I'd be watching from the circle. 

(Though you might have to recast Ilya).

 

I'd quite like Henry to be the next Bond as well, though either as a retro Bond, or with an actual backstory about becoming the new Bond, and making the idea of multiple Bonds part of the continuity. I've even had a speech knocking around in my head for years...

 

"I'm sure you know what a legend is, in our world? Of course you do. Your identity. Your cover. Your new self.

But we do have the other kind.

Heroes. Monsters. Ghost stories.

The kind that keep little crime lords awake in their bed at night, in case a Big Bad Wolf comes for them."

 

And, of course, he's put his marker down for a Warhammer movie/series with Amazon, the big nerd, though I suspect Vin Diesel might be clamouring to play Blood Angels.

 

Back to DC. Gunn has released more mini-statements via Twitter/Insta about what he's up to. TL;DR:

  • They were fully aware Loud People On The Internet would not like these changes.
  • While the Supes script will be for a younger Clark (hence the recasting), it is¬†absolutely¬†not an origin story, including meeting major players: links will already be established.
  • Batman will show up as a major part of their plans. No clarity on whether the Matt Reeves Bat-verse gets to carry on in its own bubble, will be merged, or discarded.
  • He claimed comments about recasting the¬†entire¬†DCEU were untrue, except the Suicide Squad...
  • ...which¬†might be¬†because there were only three of them alive, plus Weasel and Peacemaker. Clue's in the name.
  • Ray Fisher popped up, and was... dealt with. Not unkindly, but factually.
  • There are not going to be any Weasel origin movies, or a Slither sequel. (Sorry).
  • Supplemental: DJ & JG confirm that Black Adam 2 is not moving forward.

 

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver

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