David Zaslav: Shelving Batgirl & Coyote vs. Acme took “courage”

Warner Bros. Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav is again defending the decision to shelve high-profile films.

Last Updated on December 1, 2023

David Zaslav

By canceling movies like Batgirl and Coyote vs. Acme, Warner Bros. has made itself the target of much disdain and mockery from moviegoers. To sink hundreds of millions of dollars into projects only to decide that, no, we won’t release them after all, is quite a move. Some might call it insane or a power trip or irresponsible. But some might call it courageous. OK, it’s just one guy that’s saying that: Warner Bros. Discovery CEO and president David Zaslav, who seems more concerned about tax write-offs than releasing films.

Speaking at an event this week (via IndieWire), David Zaslav said of the discarded films, “We’ve spent the $100 million dollars and if we don’t release it, it’s gone. We don’t have any real benefit from it…The question is, should we take certain of these movies and open them in the theater and spend another $30 or $40 million to promote them? And [the] Warner Bros. team and HBO made a number of decisions. They were hard. But when I look at the health of our company today, we needed to make those decisions. And it took real courage.”

“Courage” is quite the word to use to describe an act that humiliates a production team, shows no respect for creative talent and effectively removes money from the hands of those who put countless hours into making the films. While some have claimed that Batgirl’s cancellation was blown out of proportion (it probably wasn’t…), David Zaslav’s comments are clearly self-congratulatory and insanely insulting to the filmmakers.

David Zaslav has been basking in controversial moves since he stepped into his role at Warner Bros. Discovery in 2021. In addition to shelving highly anticipated movies like Batgirl and Coyote vs. Acme – which is thankfully being shopped around – he has overseen a series of firings, actively pursued downsizing moves and tried to minimize the impact of Turner Classic Movies. And you might want to think twice before criticizing him in a public manner, lest he work to damage your journalistic integrity

What do you make of David Zaslav’s comments about Warner Bros. being courageous for shelving high-profile movies? Give us your take below!

Source: IndieWire

About the Author

1865 Articles Published

Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.