Warner Bros. Discovery won’t be releasing “Batgirl” in theaters or on HBO MAX, TheWrap has learned. The $90 million project is effectively dead.
Made under a previous regime, “Batgirl” was originally intended to be an HBO Max release, then considered for theatrical distribution. Due to COVID issues and closures, the budget soared to $90 million.
The film stars “In the Heights” breakout star Leslie Grace in the title role of Barbara Gordon.
Studio executives ultimately determined, despite reshoots and increased budgets, that the film just wasn’t working, according to insiders. The new owners and management, led by CEO David Zaslav, are committed to making DC titles great theatrical event movies, and “Batgirl” isn’t that. Insiders added that studio brass adore the film’s directors and star and are actively planning to work with them soon.
Warner Bros. Discovery strives 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 the caped crusader Bruce Wayne/Batman. Last month, El Arbi and Fallah received rave reviews for directing the first two episodes of “Ms. Wonder.”
Additionally, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “Warners has also decided to shelve the animated feature ‘Scoob!: Holiday Haunt,’ which had a budget of approximately $40 million.”
Batgirl debuted 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 crippled by a gunshot from the Joker in the classic graphic novel “The Killing Joke”, other crime fighters, like The Huntress and Orphan, took on the name Batgirl while Barbara became Oracle, a tech-savvy assistant to Batman. Barbara later returned to the role of Batgirl, while her assault in “The Killing Joke” was revised.
Filming originally took place in Glasgow, Scotland, from November 2021 to March 2022, and was in post-production. A studio spokesperson had no comment. A rep for Grace had no immediate comment.
The New York Post reported the news for the first time.