The budget, which was reported to be around $70m – $90m but stated to be likely closer to $100m, puts Batgirl on the list for being one of the biggest financial movie losses of all time.
The film, which was tossed back and forth between being a theatrical release and a streaming exclusive, settled for streaming on HBO Max later this year. However, Warner Bros. has opted to not do either and Batgirl will not be available for viewing at all, anywhere.
What a Disaster
Reports on this subject are juggling between Warner Bros’ possible justification for canceling the film as there seems to be more than one reason. Some sources are claiming it was because the film was a complete disaster among test audiences while others say it was due to the company trying to cut costs. Just to be clear here, the movie had already wrapped filming, was in post-production, and had already cost Warner Bros. a fortune.
— Variety (@Variety) August 2, 2022
The DC Cinematic Universe has faced one catastrophic blunder after another from Amber Heard’s public defamation trial with ex-partner Johnny Depp where she allegedly pooped in his bed, to the truly awful news about Ezra Miller allegedly kidnapping people, and now there’s this.
Furthermore, other sources claim that the choice to simply not release Batgirl on any platform is due to a “change in leadership” with Warner Bros. Discovery’s new CEO David Zaslav out to cut costs while currently re-evaluating Warner Bros. plans to release movies into theaters rather than making them exclusively for HBO Max.
Deadline has confirmed that Warner Bros.and DC Films will not be releasing its ‘Batgirl’ movie on any platform, including theatrically https://t.co/PFjlM9sSfx
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) August 2, 2022
Filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who were behind Ms. Marvel (which was okay but had some serious issues), and Bad Boys For Life, had directed Batgirl together and will no longer see their film released anywhere. This comes in the wake of Warner Bros. having apparently re-shifted its focus from streaming services to now putting a bigger emphasis on theatrical-released blockbusters (likely to compete with Marvel Studios). Of course, it certainly doesn’t help that everything we heard about Batgirl sounded awful amidst an overwhelmingly confusing and sloppy DC cinematic universe.
Batgirl, which starred Leslie Grace in the leading role, would have seen J.K. Simmons returning as Commissioner Gordon with Brendan Fraser as the villain known as Firefly. What is even crazier, is that Michael Keaton was supposed to return as Batman for this movie somehow, which once again, confuses the hell out of us in terms of what universe this movie supposedly takes place in.
This news comes as a shock to anyone familiar with the production of Batgirl and will likely hurt Warner Bros. and the DCEU in the long run. I personally don’t understand why they would ax Batgirl so abruptly to “save costs” after spending a fortune but it sounds like the truth lies somewhere between “this movie is a massive failure on every level” and “it’s not worth spending a cent from the marketing budget”.
In any case, we were surprised when this movie was originally announced back in 2021 as no one really asked for it (or wanted it) but we are now even more flabbergasted that Warner Bros pulled the plug so abruptly. Regardless, DC and Warner Bros. have a lot to think about for the future of their film franchises involving the Justice League heroes. There is a lot of doubt that it could survive another scandal.