In a surprising late-Tuesday afternoon breaking news, the Batgirl movie has reportedly been shelved by Warner Bros. Discovery for good. While Batgirl is a vigilante by night, it seems this film will never see the light of day and will not be released in theaters or on streaming platforms such as HBO Max.
The New York Post reported that recent test screenings were “so poorly received by moviegoers that the studio decided to cut its losses and run, for the sake of the brand’s future.” However, studio insiders insist that the decision to can Batgirl was not driven by the film’s directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, or due to the quality of the movie per se, but because the studio wants their slate of DC features to be at a blockbuster scale. The directors issued a statement regarding the decision via their Instagram page.
Batgirl had a production budget of $75 million, which ended up closer to $90 million due to pandemic delays and protocols on set. Typically, most theatrical superhero films have a budget of at least 200 million. Still, some impressive talent was involved, as the film would have starred Leslie Grace in the leading role alongside Micheal Keaton as Batman following his introduction in The Flash, facing off against villains such as Firefly, played by Brenden Fraser.
For a full breakdown of what the cancelation of Batgirl means for the future of DC films, watch our recent episode of the podcast below:
Warner Bros. Discovery also canceled Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, a follow-up to the 2020 animated film Scoob!, initially scheduled for release on HBO Max back in December 2021. That project had cost Warner Bros. $40 million to make.
Unfortunately, with an investor meeting tomorrow, we expect more announcements of cinematic cancellation soon on the way as the new CEO David Zaslav seeks to maximize the company’s profits. Stay tuned for more.