Batgirl, a DC Comics film planned for release directly to HBO Max, has been canned by Warner Bros. Discovery. It is the first time that such a thing has happened since the studio reportedly spent at least $70 million to make it and it has already been shot. There were even test screenings for the film, which was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah of Bad Boys For Life fame. Leslie Grace starred as Batgirl.
Batgirl was completely “shelved” by Warner Bros., a source told the New York Post.The test screenings were so terrible that Warner Bros. felt it was better to never release the film than risk tarnishing the DC Comics brand as a whole film franchise. “They think an unspeakable Batgirl is going to be irredeemable,” the source said.
The film was never intended to have a theatrical release, and Warner Bros. planned to produce it as a mid-budget picture. However, the price kept climbing until it reached $90 million, according to The Wrap, because of COVID safety concerns and shutdowns.
There were some signs that something was wrong with the movie about Batgirl. Warner Bros. never mentioned the project once during DC’s San Diego Comic-Con panel last month. The Puck also reported in April that Warner Bros.’ chief Toby Emmerich considered a theatrical release for Batgirl after all, but Emmerich left after the Warner Bros. Discovery merger was completed. Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy then took over the studio.
Warner Discovery CEO David Zaslav plans to re-structure Warner Bros. into three units, including a “DC-Based Film Production” unit. He wants all DC titles to be major theatrical events, but Batgirl does not fit that bill. Sources told The Wrap that the movie was too expensive to be a streaming exclusive, but not expensive enough to reach theaters. Insiders told The Wrap the studio likes the star and filmmakers and hopes to work with them again.
Not only was Batgirl being produced exclusively for HBO Max, but there was also a film about the Wonder Twins characters. However, the CEO of HBO Max balked at the $75 million price tag for a movie that would only have a limited audience. K.J. Aba (Riverdale) and Isabel May (1883) had already been cast as the title characters. There is also a Blue Beetle movie, which recently finished filming. Blue Beetle was not mentioned during the SDCC panel.
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