Batgirl Film Shelved By Warner Bros. Even Though It Finished Shooting - Report
Warner Bros. Discovery's new boss wants to focus on theatrical films.
The Batgirl film, which was expected to hit HBO Max sometime this year as a streaming-exclusive picture, has been shelved by Warner Bros. Discovery, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The strangest part of this decision is that Batgirl had already completed shooting--meaning that the actors' work on the film was essentially done. The move reportedly comes as a result of Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav wanting to refocus on theatrical releases just a couple of years after Warner Bros. shattered the theatrical mold and began releasing films to HBO Max and theaters day-and-date to combat COVID-related theatrical shortcomings.
According to the NY Post, Batgirl was performing so poorly in early test screenings that it led the company to cut its losses, with a source calling the film "irredeemable." Variety's report, meanwhile, aligns more closely with THR's, stating that WB wants DC films to be blockbuster-sized, meaning that it wants DC movies to be made for theatrical release rather than for streaming.
Batgirl was set to star Leslie Grace (In the Heights) as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, alongside two returning Batman cast members; Michael Keaton was to once again reprise his role as Batman (a role he's also set to return to in The Flash), while J.K. Simmons would return as Commissioner Gordon, who he first played in Justice League and the HBO Max-released Zack Snyder's Justice League. Brendan Fraser, who also stars in HBO Max's Doom Patrol as Cliff Steele/Robotman, was to play the film's main villain Firefly. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who also directed Bad Boys For Life and Marvel Studios' Ms. Marvel, directed the film.
It was noteworthy when, at San Diego Comic-Con in July, Warner Bros. chose to focus almost exclusively on the upcoming Black Adam film starring Dwayne Johnson, and on Shazam: Fury of the Gods, and didn't so much as mention Batgirl despite the fact that the film was expected to release this year. With a budget rumored to be somewhere between $70 and $100 million, this will be an expensive write-off for Warner Bros. Discovery. Fans are already wondering about the future of Warner Bros.' The Flash following Ezra Miller's recent arrest and behavior, putting the current state of the DC film slate--and the fate of Michael Keaton's Batman--into question.
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