After spending $90 million dollars, Warner Brothers cancelled the “Batgirl” movie despite the fact that it was in post-production and nearly done. Warner Brothers also cancelled “Scoob!: Holiday Haunt” as well despite sinking so much money into both productions.
The reason Warner Brothers cancelled both projects is that they decided they had already lost so much money on both of them that it would be cheaper to cancel the two projects rather than finish them and spend even more money while getting little in return. Whether that’s the true answer or not, the real problem is why spend $90 million dollars filming a movie like “Batgirl” if they’re going to cancel it later because the movie was so poorly told?
There’s the problem right there. Hollywood too often relies on special effects, A-list actors and directors, and IP properties like superheroes to make a movie. What they forget is that every movie always starts out with a great script.
Even the best A-list actors and directors can’t turn a bad script into a great movie. They absolutely must start with a great script first.
Hollywood sees scripts as the least important part and A-list actors and directors, IP properties, and special effects as the most important part. That’s why Hollywood too often starts filming a movie for the convenience of the actors and directors even if the script isn’t done yet.
In rare cases, you get a movie like “Casablanca.” In most cases, you get a box office bomb and lose millions of dollars.
Start with a script and you can tell if you have a great story or not. If not, it’s far easier to fix a script than it is to bring back A-list actors for a reshoot. From a cost perspective, focusing on the script should always be Hollywood’s number one priority. It’s not.
As a screenwriter, always focus on writing the best screenplay you can. Then learn from each screenplay you write so your next one can be even better.
The more you write, the better skilled you’ll get so you can focus less on trivial matters like formatting a screenplay correctly and focus more on story structure and creativity instead.
Screenwriting is experimentation with words, and words are cheap to write. Keep writing, keep experimenting, and if you ever get into a position to accept or reject a movie, always remember that the foundation of every great movie begins with a great script. Without a great script, you have nothing.
Just look at Hollywood’s numerous box office bombs to tell you that.