Warner Bros. Discovery movie Batgirl has been cancelled, while in the final stages of post-production. It will not be released on streaming platfom or theatrically, shocking many in Hollywood as well as fans hoping to see the title.
Batgirl was going to be starring Leslie Grace in the title role as Barbara Gordon. Michael Keaton would have been back as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Brendan Fraser as Gotham City’s villain ‘Firefly’.
J.K. Simmons would have been returning to his role as Commissioner Gordon; as the movie was set after The Flash, where Barry Allen changed time; making Simmon’s iteration of Gordon the commissioner to Keaton instead of Ben Affleck’s Batman, as seen in set photos.
Warner Bros and Discovery merger
Ever since the Warner Bros and Discovery merger happened, there’s been a shake-up of projects and services being cancelled such as HBO Max Originals being halted in Europe reported on by Variety. Cinemax Go is being shut down and The Wonder Twins was also cancelled before shooting, not too long after casting was already announced, this would have starred KJ Apa and Isabel May. Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow was cancelled, along with The Flash ending after season 9 over at The CW.
There’s been multiple reports about the suspected reasons that caused Batgirl to be cancelled; it does all boil down to money. The Wonder Twins was going to be costing $75 million and that was considered too high to spend on a HBO Max project according to the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, in an article for The Wall Street Journal. Batgirl for HBO Max was also costing more than that at $78 million, however this movie was nearly finished! Variety has mentioned that it could be due to a tax write-down, where it would have cost more to release.
Zaslav wants to focus on theatrical releases first before they go to HBO Max, however they didn’t want to spend more on films that were already being made and planned for the platform. In order for the movie to be changed to theatrical, it would have cost more.
‘Spending the money to expand the scope of “Batgirl” for theaters — plus the $30 million to $50 million needed to market it domestically and the tens of millions more needed for a global rollout – could have nearly doubled spending on the film, and insiders say that was a non-starter at a company newly focused on belt-tightening and the bottom line.’Variety
Directors for Batgirl; Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have put out a statement on their instagram page about the cancellation. (The post has since been removed).
“We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it. As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.” Both directors write.
“Our amazing cast and crew did a tremendous job and worked so hard to bring Batgirl to life. We are forever grateful to have been part of that team. It was a dream to work with such fantastic actors like Michael Keaton, JK Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Jacob Scipio, Corey Johnson, Rebecca Front and especially the great Leslie Grace, who portrayed Batgirl with so much passion, dedication and humanity.In any case, as huge fans of Batman since we were little kids, it was a privilege and an honor to have been a part of the DCEU, even if it was for a brief moment. Batgirl For Life.” – Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah
Batgirl was not the only project to be cancelled on Tuesday; the Scooby Doo animated movie sequel titled Scoob!: Holiday Haunt was 95% completed and yet still shelved. This suggests that it was not due to screening reactions as both projects are not likely to get shelved for this losing $78 million with Batgirl and around $40 million for the Scooby Doo sequel. This has left the crew devasted with this decision
Ther has also been #SaveScoobHolidayHaunt trending on Twitter.
There is also a hashtag trending for Batgirl #ReleaseBatgirl
Warner Bros. Pictures responds to cancellations
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. Pictures responded to our email with an official statement to the cancellations “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”.
New York Post was first to report on the news about Batgirl being cancelled.