I’m sitting peacefully in Brighton thinking about Batgirl, the movie.

“It’s Batgirling time!”… It will never be Batgirling time. How remarkably hard to countenance. They have made this whole damn movie, filmed loads of it in Glasgow, cut and edited it, likely finished most of not all of the vfx… They’ve paid like $90,000,000. And now, after some pre-screenings, they’ve canned it before release. And the received reason appears to be that it’s a terrible movie…? Nah…

So many feelings about this. First, how did it get this far before they knew it sucked? Was everybody on set for weeks and weeks and in the daily rushes thinking “yeah this is ok”? The number of people involved to get a film this far is astronomical, and I’m sure many of them were veterans. None of them noticed it was gonna be a turkey? I mean, there’s a lot that can be saved in the edit, surely? How do the actors feel? Somewhere there’s a young woman who had her big break. They would have axed her from set after a bit if she turned out not to be capable, surely? There must be more at play than just “this is a crap movie”. Will it cost them so much more to release it and let the people decide? Maybe that’s what’s going on… Let the rumour mill run, let it be the most expensive ever canned movie, and then give it an indy release and hope that there’s karaoke Batgirl in drunk late night cinemas for years to come. I probably wouldn’t have wanted to see it before, but now I’m curious. I’ve seen and enjoyed plenty of atrocious superhero movies. This might have something good. This might have a lot good.

If so few people saw this movie, who decided this movie was crap enough to can? What are their criterion? Is it a challenging movie that challenged them? People with that sort of clout often don’t have any taste whatsoever, and planet sized ego. I’m imagining a Weinsteinalike now: “I didn’t like her.” “But it’s made, sir. It’s ready for a rollout.” “I said I didn’t like her. I’m canning it.”

Or is it just another terrible movie. They released Batman vs Superman, and it’s on in some airplanes etc. Even The Room has a cult following. Michael Keaton is back as Batman in it. It would’ve been watched enough surely to make back some of the money they spent. THEY GOT AN EXTRA $20 MILLION TO FINISH IT! That doesn’t happen surely unless enough people say “Hey, yeah I like this. Let’s get it finished. Whaddaya need?”

I really feel for the company – for the creative team – for all the people who would have slogged their guts out to the best of their ability and with the best of intentions on this movie. Nobody ever deliberately turns in poor work – certainly not at this level. This is about ego or money or both. Some say it’s a tax write-off. Messy stuff, if it is one. There’s a lot of livelihoods damaged in this. Will it be worth it? Time will tell.

Bleh. Batgirl. Now we just have to imagine it. I expect at no point will she say “It’s Batgirling time, Batfans!” But maybe she did. Maybe I’ll get a subpoena for leaking a bit of the screenplay…

I went to a butterfly house with Lou on this working weekday. We let butterflies land on us in a hot tent. It was kinda cute despite all the panicking children.

Coming next year. Butterfly Male. Watch his space.

Fishhead owl is watching you

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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