What Batgirl's Cancellation Means For The Snyderverse

The cancellation of Batgirl has ramifications for the wider DCEU, but it also impacts the future of the Snyderverse and the possibility that the franchise will revisit Zack Snyder's original vision. The DCEU's future has been shaken up numerous times in recent years. First, there was the departure of Snyder during the production of Justice League, which led to two incredibly different cuts of the movie and the schism between the DCEU and the Snyderverse. Then came the announcement of Ben Affleck's supposed departure from the franchise, followed by the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, which again prompted announcements of an altered approach to the DCEU's future.

The cancellation of Batgirl is an interesting development, particularly as the movie was all but complete. The reasons behind its cancellation have primarily been assigned to poor reactions to test screenings of the film, as well as the Warner Bros. Discovery merger seeing a shift in the way the films of the DCEU are made and released. It seems that the studio simply didn't have enough faith in Batgirl to push ahead with its release, which also speaks indirectly to the direction that the DCEU is heading in.

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The mounting calls for DC to restore the Snyderverse are undoubtedly also a concern for Warner Bros. Discovery and may have also informed the decision to cancel Batgirl's release. Though Warner Bros. confirmed that the Snyderverse is over, there is still a chance that some of Zack Snyder's ideas will live on in the DCEU, particularly as there are concerns over the quality and popularity of its upcoming releases. Batgirl's cancellation is an acknowledgment of the pressure that the DCEU is under to deliver fan-pleasing experiences, and that could be interesting news for the Snyderverse.

Batgirl's cancellation is a major blow to the DCEU's future — at least, to the one that was clearly planned. The reshuffle of DCEU release dates pushed The Flash back considerably, and that raised a concern regarding canon and how Michael Keaton's Batman could appear. Though The Flash delay created a DCEU multiverse problemBatgirl's cancellation could be even worse, because it throws the DCEU future of Michael Keaton's Batman into doubt.

Batgirl was a clear attempt to introduce the Bat-Family into the DCEU, with Keaton acting as a mentor to Leslie Grace's Batgirl. The movie's cancellation raises questions over how and when the DCEU will actually make use of Keaton's Batman, which could be disastrous considering just how popular the news of his return proved to be. With Batgirl canceled, the DCEU seems more directionless than ever, and that could spell disaster for the franchise.

Of course, the news of Batgirl's cancellation coming at a time when calls to restore the Snyderverse are so prevalent may highlight the DCEU's best course of action. However, as it seems impossible that the DCEU and Zack Snyder will ever work again hand-in-hand, the return of the Snyderverse is incredibly unlikely. The DCEU has the opportunity to forget the Snyderverse entirely, but it doesn't seem as though Warner Bros. Discovery is eager to commit to this. Instead, the announced intention for the franchise's future is to put more emphasis on the character of Superman — something that Batgirl's cancellation may further prove. The cancellation of a key Bat-Family story does potentially put the DCEU in a better position to restore the Snyderverse, but it still doesn't appear to be on the horizon, especially without Snyder himself to guide it in the right direction.

Related: Why The DCEU Still Can't Fully Let Go Of Ben Affleck's Batman

Of course, there are still ways in which the Snyderverse could quietly return. One of the key elements of doing so would be to announce plans for Henry Cavill's Superman return, as the intended focus on the character in the future could still restore important elements of Zack Snyder's vision. With the announcement that Ben Affleck's Batman will appear in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomthe DCEU certainly does appear to be positioning itself to further explore the general ideas of the Snyderverse.

However, in doing so, the DCEU would be required to backpedal considerably. The films released since Snyder's departure from the franchise haven't explicitly ruled out future Snyderverse stories, but the respective tones of Aquaman and Shazam! may be harder to reconcile with the grittier nature of Snyder's vision. In order to make a return to the Snyderverse possible, it would be necessary to subtly rework elements of these characters for future movies — and it may be too late for that, considering the production of sequels to both is already well underway.

Despite Batgirl and Keaton's Batman seeming good for the DCEU's future, the film's cancellation is indicative of problems with its story and how it fits into the franchise. The official statement on its cancellation revealed very little regarding the decision, other than it wasn't a reflection on the actors or filmmakers — and therefore, it was more a question of the film's story and its place in the DCEU. The Snyderverse could fix these issues; despite it being divisive, there was a clear intention and narrative thrust connecting the movies of the DCEU under Zack Snyder's care. Even restoring some of the components of the Snyderverse would fix the DCEU's problems by solidifying its narrative once more, as well as delivering an excellent piece of fan service that would all but guarantee at least some element of success.

The problems with the DCEU run far deeper than its departure from the Snyderverse, and Batgirl's cancellation proves it. As it's been hinted that the reasons for the film's cancellation stemmed from the Warner Bros. Discovery merger and the shift in approach to the DCEU's wider story, it's clear that there's still no real direction within the franchise. Of course, restoring some of Zack Snyder's ideas could go a long way to resolving this, but it wouldn't solve the problem entirely.

Related: Why Batman Wasn't At Comic-Con 2022

The big problem with the DCEU ultimately stems from a lack of consistency. There has been no concrete narrative thread connecting its many stories, and that's something that Snyder initially attempted to introduce. However, with his departure, the DCEU fell into a pattern of releasing enjoyable movies that weren't intrinsically connected, and Batgirl was clearly even further removed from the franchise at large than those that came before. Though Batgirl's cancellation may help the DCEU get back on track, it's already clear that the future of the franchise needs much more than the Snyderverse to fix its issues.

Next: The DCEU Just Can't Catch A Break, Huh?

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