The Batgirl movie, which is expected to be released as a streaming exclusive on HBO Max sometime this year, has been shelved, according to Warner Bros. Discovery The Hollywood Reporter.
The strangest thing about this decision is that Batgirl had already wrapped up filming — meaning the actors’ work on the movie was essentially done. The move reportedly comes as Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav wanted to refocus on theatrical releases just a few years after Warner Bros. broke the theatrical mold and began releasing films for HBO Max and theatrical releases to fight COVID-related theater shortages.
According to that New York PostBatgirl performed so poorly in early test screenings that the company cut its losses, with a source calling the film “unredeemable.” diversityWB’s report, meanwhile, aligns more closely with THR’s, stating that WB wants DC movies to be blockbuster-sized, meaning DC movies should be made for theatrical release, not streaming.
Batgirl would star alongside two recurring Batman cast members Leslie Grace (In the Heights) as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl; Michael Keaton was set to reprise his role as Batman (a role he will also return to in The Flash), while JK Simmons would return as Commissioner Gordon, whom he first played in Justice League and HBO Max-published Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Brendan Fraser, who also stars as Cliff Steele/Robotman in HBO Max’s Doom Patrol, was set to play the film’s main villain, Firefly. It was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who also directed Marvel Studios’ Bad Boys For Life and Ms. Marvel.
It was notable when Warner Bros. decided at San Diego Comic-Con in July to focus almost exclusively on the upcoming Black Adam movie starring Dwayne Johnson and on Shazam: Fury of the Gods, not even mentioning Batgirl though the film should be out later this year. With a budget said to be between $70 million and $100 million, this will be a costly write-down for Warner Bros. Discovery. Fans are already wondering about the future of Warner Bros.’ The Flash following Ezra Miller’s recent arrest and behavior, calling into question the current state of the DC film list – and the fate of Michael Keaton’s Batman.
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