‘Irredeemable’ Batgirl movie unexpectedly cancelled despite being in final stages | Movies

Warner Bros Discovery unexpectedly announced that the previously announced Batgirl film, starring In The Heights actor Leslie Grace and Brendan Fraser, will not be released. Despite filming being complete and the film in post-production, Warner Bros Discovery announced the news.

The film was directed by Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah and Ms Marvel directors. It was originally greenlit in 2021 as part a larger move by Warner Bros to produce feature films for streaming service HBO Max. The studio said Tuesday that the film would not be released theatrically or on HBO Max.

It declined further comment.

Batgirl was to have Keaton reprise his role as Batman, alongside Grace as the titular hero Barbara Gordon, JK Simmons as Barbara’s father, Commissioner Gordon, and Fraser as the villain Firefly.

The Hollywood Reporter said Batgirl’s budget was a factor in the decision, having risen to nearly $90m (£74.1m, A$130m) due to costs relating to it being shot during the Covid-19 pandemic. While the budget is lower than the average DC superhero film, it was reportedly decided that it did not have the “spectacle that audiences have come to expect from DC fare” and would not recoup its losses from being released.

The New York Post reported the story Tuesday. They cited an unnamed source that said that the budget was actually over $100m. Also, that the film had done so poorly in early screenings that Warner Bros had to reduce its losses.

“They think an unspeakable Batgirl is going to be irredeemable,” the source told the New York Post.

Minutes after the story was posted, a call came from an exec at a rival studio. He was stunned by this move. “I have lived in this area for over 30 years and this is an incredible place to work.” https://t.co/A3aBLPulWz

— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) August 2, 2022

This means that the film is now among the most expensive cinematic projects to be cancelled.

This move is in the midst of a leadership change since Warner Bros and Discovery merged in May 2021. David Zaslav (Worry Bros Discovery CEO) is said to be prioritising cost-cutting, and refocusing the studio’s attention on theatrical films rather than streaming.

Writing in Variety, Adam B Vary and Brent Lang noted that the decision to cancel Batgirl entirely would allow the studio to “take a tax write-down”, citing sources who said it was “seen internally as the most financially sound way to recoup the costs (at least, on an accountant’s ledger)”.

Since the Warner Bros Discovery merger several shows like Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, The Last OG, and Chad were cancelled. Meanwhile, a DC Comics movie of The Wonder Twins has been canceled.

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