DCEU's Supergirl Movie Can & Should Survive Batgirl's Cancellation
The DCEU’s Batgirl film has been abruptly canceled, but this doesn’t mean that the planned Supergirl film should be scrapped as well. Batgirl would have introduced Leslie Grace’s Barbara Gordon to the DCEU mythos as well as acquainted viewers with the franchise following what would be major timeline changes made by the ending of The Flash movie. In addition to bringing back Michael Keaton as the Batman of the Tim Burton universe, The Flash will also see the debut of Sasha Calle as Supergirl, and while it isn’t clear which reality this version of Kara Zor-El belongs to, there is a planned Supergirl solo film planned for her. Regardless of Batgirl’s cancelation and any potential rewriting of 2023’s The Flash, the DCEU’s Supergirl film should still be made.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
The Flash is set to loosely adapt the 2011 DC Comics storyline Flashpoint in which Barry Allen travels through time and the multiverse to save his mother. The DCEU’s version of the film will not only feature Keaton’s Batman, but also the purported final performance of Ben Affleck’s version of Batman. Michael Keaton’s Batman seemed poised to replace Affleck’s version for a time, an assumption supported by Batgirl’s inclusion of Keaton but not Affleck. Behind the scenes photos and footage from Batgirl included depicted Keaton’s Batman working alongside J. K. Simmons’ Commissioner Gordon as well as a mural depicting Batman with a comic-accurate version of Dick Grayson’s Robin (who wasn’t part of the Burton universe and was depicted differently in the original DCEU), suggesting that Keaton would be playing a new version of Batman who mixes elements of the comics, Burton films, and Affleck’s version.
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Following WB’s merger with Discovery, the DCEU is now going in a different direction than Zack Snyder’s original franchise vision, but it may not be rebooting after all. Ben Affleck is reprising his role of Batman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Batgirl has been scrapped. This suggests that the franchise will return to a focus on the core Justice League members but not follow Snyder’s initial plans for the DCEU. Batgirl’s cancelation further calls the status of Supergirl into question, as the film was likely to also spin-off from The Flash and depict a rebooted DCEU. For this reason, Supergirl’s cancelation seems likely, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Sasha Calle can still star in a Supergirl film, as long as it’s set in the main DCEU and isn’t affected by any potential continuity changes made by The Flash.
Why Supergirl May Be Canceled
Following Zack Snyder’s departure from the DCEU, the franchise began heading towards a reboot via The Flash, using its Flashpoint-inspired storyline as a natural segue into a new era for the franchise. Ben Affleck was no longer playing Batman and Henry Cavill’s future as Superman appeared uncertain, so a continuity-altering movie would retroactively establish Michael Keaton as a new version of Batman while also introducing Supergirl as a potential replacement for Superman. Even with Keaton taking over as the Dark Knight, Batgirl would be introduced in her solo film to possibly headline the DCEU’s Gotham City adventures moving forward.
The cancelation of Batgirl and Ben Affleck’s apparent reinstatement as Batman (based on archival footage of him in the Shazam! Fury of the Gods trailer and his recently-revealed role in Aquaman 2) shows that the post-merger DCEU may no longer be following this plan, and if Supergirl is meant to become the DCEU’s main Kryptonian hero following The Flash’s timeline alterations, her solo movie will likely be canceled as well. While The Flash trailers have already showcased Sasha Calle’s Supergirl, her solo film may be so early in production that its cancelation won’t be nearly as jarringly sudden as the Batgirl solo movie.
How the Supergirl Movie Can Still Be Released
Assuming that The Flash does not result in a major DCEU reboot, a Supergirl solo movie with Sasha Calle in the lead role can still be released. It’s unknown whether Calle’s Supergirl is from the mainstream DCEU timeline or an alternate one, but if it’s the latter (especially if she’s an alternate version of Kal-El, for instance), it’d be difficult to integrate her into the DCEU without a reboot. If she’s simply the Kara Zor-El of the main timeline who travels to other realities with Barry Allen, her adventures could easily continue in a solo installment, removing the possibility that timeline tampering would require the Supergirl solo movie to be canceled.
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Kara Zor-El is already confirmed to exist in the main DCEU, thanks to the official Man of Steel prequel comic (which is co-written by Zack Snyder) and a noticeably empty pod in Superman’s DCEU Fortress of Solitude further hints at her potential live-action appearance. Sasha Calle’s version of Supergirl in The Flash could end up having her role tweaked to establish her as the main DCEU’s Kara Zor-El if she wasn’t before, allowing her to appear in future installments without a reboot. If Sasha Calle’s Supergirl ends up being a well-received character whose story isn’t complete by the end of The Flash, giving her a solo film would be the right move, especially since Henry Cavill’s Superman may be coming back to the DCEU as well.
Would The Flash Even Affect Supergirl's Character?
The only way that The Flash movie would affect Supergirl as a character is if she’s from another universe. The DCEU’s new direction appears to be moving away from a continuity reboot, so altering this element of The Flash would prevent further adventures of Calle’s character from making it to the big screen. As a resident of the same reality as the mainstream DCEU Barry Allen, however, Supergirl may simply accompany him on his time traveling and multiverse-spanning adventures and rejoin him in the restored DCEU timeline by the end of the film.
Supergirl has the potential for fascinating stories set in the mainstream DCEU. As a more conventional Kryptonian, Kara would potentially struggle with her lack of free will, as she’d have been designed for a specific societal purpose by Kryptonian society. Kara’s potential friendships with Barry Allen and her cousin Kal-El would further allow her solo film to be well-integrated into the main DCEU. Despite the cancelation of Batgirl, the DCEU should take advantage of Kara’s potential storylines and release the Supergirl movie, modifying it to fit the new DCEU as needed.