Warner Bros. Discovery will not release “Batgirl,” either theatrically or on HBO MAX, TheWrap has learned. The $90 million project is effectively dead.
“The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance. We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future,” according to Warner Bros. Picture Spokesperson.
Made under a previous regime, “Batgirl” was initially designed to be an HBO Max release, and then was being considered for theatrical distribution. Due to COVID issues and shutdowns, the budget ballooned to $90 million.
The movie stars “In the Heights” breakout star Leslie Grace in the title role of Barbara Gordon.
The leaders of the studio determined ultimately, in spite of reshoots and increased budget, that the movie simply did not work, according to insiders. The new owners and management, led by CEO David Zaslav, are committed to making DC titles big theatrical event films, and “Batgirl” isn’t that. Insiders added that studio brass loves the film’s directors and star, and are actively planning to work with them soon.
Warner Bros. Discovery is working to elevate DC Films to be seen on the big screen. “Batgirl” had not been scripted or produced as a theatrical film.
“Bad Boys for Life” filmmaking duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah directed “Batgirl.” The film also starred Michael Keaton as caped crusader Bruce Wayne/Batman. Last month, El Arbi and Fallah got great notices for directing the first two episodes of Marvel Studios’ “Ms. Marvel.”
Additionally, according to the Hollywood Reporter, “Warners has also decided to shelve animated feature “Scoob!: Holiday Haunt” which had a budget in the $40 million range.”
Batgirl made her debut in the Batman mythos 50 years ago as Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon. Since then, she has become one of the most popular superheroines in the world. When Barbara Gordon was paralyzed by a gunshot from the Joker in the classic graphic novel “The Killing Joke,” other crimefighters, like The Huntress and Orphan, took up the Batgirl name while Barbara became Oracle, a tech-savvy aide to Batman. Barbara later returned to the Batgirl role, while her assault in “The Killing Joke” was revised.
Filming initially took place in Glasgow, Scotland, from November 2021 to March 2022, and was in post-production. A spokesperson for the studio had no comment. A representative for Grace had no immediate comment.
The New York Post first reported the news.