After years of anticipation from DC fans, Warner Bros finally found a way to introduce Barbara Gordon to live-action, announcing a solo movie for the hero with the developing Leslie Grace-led film. Batgirl, which finished filming earlier this year, has been scheduled to hit HBO Max sometime this year, however according to a number of new reports, Warner Bros doesn’t want Batgirl to see the light of day. Outlets are reporting that $70 million project is being scrapped after test screenings scared off the studio on the movie.
Batgirl has been called “irredeemable” by a reported “top Hollywood source” found by The NY Post. Per the report, the movie will be “shelved,” but it has yet to be confirmed by the studio if it's purely a rumor or a bombshell piece of news for one of Warner Bros’ upcoming DC movies.
The Wrap backed up this report, sharing it had additionally heard via insiders that the movie "did not work" for studio executives – made by Bad Boys For Life and Ms. Marvel directors Adil El Arbi and Billal Fallah for a reported budget of over $70 million (though it may have ultimately cost the studio $90 million by the time cameras finished rolling).
The news could perhaps be the product of the recent change in Warner Bros’ leadership, with CEO David Zaslav becoming the new big boss since WB merged with Discovery. There was some rumored talk of the previous WB chair Toby Emmerich considering Batgirl for a theatrical release rather than a HBO Max exclusive, however, but the new reports suggest the film isn't testing to the level of a big-screen project and may be removed from getting any kind of release.
Batgirl would not only introduce Leslie Grace’s Barbara Gordon, but is features a stacked cast including the return of Michael Keaton as Batman and J.K. Simmons as James Gordon. Brendan Fraser plays the film's villain, Ted Carson a.k.a. Firefly. It’s arguably unheard of for a project as high-profile as this one to lose any form of avenue for distribution.
Apparently, a move like this is not uncharacteristic for Warner Bros’ new CEO, however, who previously shut down the failed streaming service CNN+ weeks after it launched (it reportedly cost $300 million to put together). There is some restructuring of DC projects currently underway behind the scenes, with David Zaslav on the search for a someone to fill a role much like Marvel boss Kevin Feige has at Marvel Studios.
Coming off San Diego Comic-Con late last month, Marvel Studios announced and showcased a lineup of projects planned until 2025 including two more Avengers films, whilst DC did not bring anything from Batgirl to its panel. Instead, Warner Bros chose to only focus on Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Black Adam, both of which have set release dates later this year. Warner Bros. Discovery is set to report its earnings for this past business quarter on Thursday; it’s possible we’ll learn more then.
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