“Batgirl,” the feature film adaptation of the DC Comics character, has been killed at Warner Bros., Variety confirms. It will not premiere on any platform at the studio — neither theatrically nor on HBO Max.
The production — starring Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl) and directed by “Bad Boys for Life” and “Ms. Marvel” filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah — was greenlit in 2021 as part of a company-wide effort at Warner Bros. to create feature films specifically for HBO Max. But the new corporate regime at Warner Bros. Discovery has pivoted the company’s priorities back to theatrical features, leaving “Batgirl” without a proper home. Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons were also set to portray Batman and Commissioner Gordon, but Warner seems to be shutting down Keaton’s Batman return with Affleck replacing him in Aquaman 2.
Also on the chopping block, “Scoob!: Holiday Haunt,” a followup to the 2020 film “Scoob!,” has been shelved by the studio. Footage for the animated adaptation of the “Scooby-Doo” series was showcased in a sizzle reel for HBO Max back in December 2021. Sources indicate that the production had cost Warner Bros. $40 million.
Studio insiders claim the decision to axe “Batgirl” was not driven by the quality of the film or the commitment of the filmmakers, but by the desire for the studio’s slate of DC features to be at a blockbuster scale, but they wouldn’t spin it any other way.
The NYPost has a source that seems to call it like it is, a disaster.
The reportedly $70 million movie (the source said the budget was actually more than $100 million), which was doing test screenings for audiences in anticipation of a late 2022 debut, would rank among the most expensive cinematic castoffs ever.
Those tests were said to be so poorly received by moviegoers that the studio decided to cut its losses and run, for the sake of the brand’s future. It’s a DC disaster.
“They think an unspeakable ‘Batgirl’ is going to be irredeemable,” the source said.
“Batgirl” was budgeted to screen in homes on HBO Max, and never for a major global release in theaters. The initial $75 million production budget for the project, which finished principal photography earlier this year and was in post-production, reached $90 million, due in part to COVID-related delays and protocols.
The media is starting to realize that DC in the past has squandered legendary properties and has no grand plan like Marvel Studios. Perhaps Zaslav intends to remedy that by removing projects they could hurt the brand. Now we’re looking at YOU Ezra Miller.