As the dust settles on Warner Bros. Discovery’s industry-shaking announcement about the cancellation of two major films — Batgirl and Scoob!: Holiday Haunt — talent associated with both projects is beginning to comment on the situation. And after statements from Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Billal Fallah and star Leslie Grace, Scoob 2 co-writer Paul Dini has questioned the studio’s move to cancel a film that he thinks would’ve been a sure-shot hit this holiday season.
Dini, who is perhaps best known as the creator of the Batman character Harley Quinn, responded to a fan’s tweet about the news. He not only revealed that the film — a prequel to the animated reboot of the franchise — was “95% complete,” but claimed that a work-in-progress cut actually tested quite well. Warner Bros. in a statement about the canned Batgirl film said that a change in the studio’s business strategy was the primary reason behind the move. In Dini‘s own words:
“‘Shit next’ indeed. Yes, I’m co-writer, but also, why cancel a 95% finished holiday movie this close to Fall, when you’re guaranteed kids watching it from right after Halloween until at least New Years? Makes no business sense esp. as both kids & parents dug the WIP screening.”
According to a Variety report, the new W.B.D. leadership’s decision to distance the company from the previous regime’s streaming-focused strategies prompted the cancellation of the two movies, which were deemed unsuitable for either the theatrical marketplace or the HBO Max streaming service. The studio had already spent around $90 million on Batgirl, which the film’s directors revealed in their joint statement was “far from finished,” contrary to the rumors floating around.
Scoob 2, on the other hand, was apparently closer to the finish line. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film was budgeted at around $40 million, which is far lower than what an average Pixar project costs — Lightyear, for instance, was produced for a reported $200 million — but still a hefty price tag for a streaming-exclusive title. The first Scoob! film, directed by Tony Cervone, debuted at the peak of the pandemic’s first wave in 2020 and received mixed reviews.
Dini is best known for writing some of the most memorable episodes of the classic Batman: The Animated Series. He has also written the acclaimed video game, Batman: Arkham Asylum and its sequel, Batman: Arkham City. Scooby-Doo remains a popular piece of IP, and fans can be sure another reboot of the popular cartoon is probably around the corner. In fact, a new animated series centered around the character Velma Dinkley is coming from star and executive producer Mindy Kaling.
You can check out Dini’s tweet here, and watch the trailer for the first Scoob! film down below: