2022 was an interesting year for the film industry. With things finally able to return to somewhat normal after the considerable obstacles presented by the pandemic, 2022 marked an opportunity for Hollywood to boost its box office numbers with a slate of blockbusters ready to release. While this much was certainly expected, the year was also filled with a number of unforeseeable events that shocked the movie-going public.
Some of these surprises were good, while others were decidedly less so. Some of the most anticipated movies of 2022 were truly outstanding, and some were much less enthralling than we’d hoped. After two full years of anticipation for cinema’s return to form, there were bound to be a few disappointments, but these were offset by a number of unexpectedly brilliant movies.
From shocking cancellations to triumphant returns, 2022 truly was a rollercoaster of a year. With unexpected box office smashes, impressive critical reception to surprising films, and a handful of hugely disappointing developments, it certainly was a year to remember. With all that in mind, here are 10 of the best and worst surprises that 2022 had to offer.
BAD: Batgirl’s Cancellation
2 August 2022
With a number of the DCU’s titles delayed (some of them repeatedly) in 2022, the company’s slate was looking a little muddled. However, anticipation for Batgirl, initially scheduled for release on HBO Max, was high. This was in large part due to the scheduled return of Michael Keaton’s Batman, as well as Brendan Fraser’s role as the film’s villain Garfield Lynns (AKA Firefly).
Then came Discovery’s acquisition of WarnerMedia. The merger prompted the film to be unceremoniously canned, allowing for a rather large tax write-off for the company. This also came after test screenings for the film reportedly failed to impress, with many concerned that the move to give Batgirl a theatrical release was the wrong one.
Of course, if the movie was indeed a disappointment, it’s maybe a kindness that it was canceled. However, the return of one of the best live-action versions of Batman was something that many were looking forward to, and the abrupt nature of Batgirl‘s cancellation was indeed shocking. Regardless of the reasons behind it, the decision not to release a movie that cost a reported $90 million to make was a pretty big surprise.