HBO Max doesn’t have much to offer to entice new viewers this holiday season. Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon has already finished running its first batch of episodes and won’t be back for at least two years. WB has virtually nothing to offer the folks who might have signed up for the service just for that show. If history had played out differently, though, they would’ve had two original movies ready to go afterward.
Batgirl was planned for release around Thanksgiving and the animated Scoob! Holiday Haunt was scheduled for Christmas. And while Batgirl was cut in post-production with a few scenes forever unfinished, the Scoob! sequel was under orders to continue production, even after its status as a write-off movie was confirmed. A Variety article from earlier this year revealed a scoring session to add music to Holiday Haunt was still happening, and the scorers were bewildered as to why.
This weekend Variety got director Michael Kurinsky on the phone for some answers. He confirmed production on Scoob! Holiday Haunt lasted up until November 4. “The reason we were able to finish this movie is because it was already paid for,” Kurinsky told them. “I can’t say it was [Warner Bros] saying, ‘Please finish this movie, we want you to.’ I think it was more like, ‘Finish the movie because we’ve paid to finish the movie.’”
Kurinsky says about eight weeks of work were left to do on Holiday Haunt, but that adds up to hundreds of shots that had to be finished, rendered and approved.
“We’re working with seasoned professionals here, and I was trying to be the best cheerleader I could,” Kurinsky said. “I mean, I was really hurting inside. And yet I’m in these meetings and I have to inspire and keep this enthusiasm up for finishing this movie. I was doing everything I could to keep the bravest face because I wanted to keep everybody’s enthusiasm up… I’m so thankful for everybody that, even though they knew this thing doesn’t have a chance of coming out, they still worked like it was coming out.”
What are the odds the public will ever see any of their work? Kurinsky doesn’t suggest the chances are zero, but believes it will at least take a regime change for that to happen. “I think as long as Discovery owns Warner Bros., I don’t think anything can and will happen with this movie. To me, I feel like as long as it’s Warner Bros. Discovery, it does not seem likely that there’s a way around it.”