Batgirl film ‘shelved’ by Warner Bros. after studio spent at least $70 million on DC Comics movie

The latest: Batgirl film has been 'canned' by Warner Bros. after spending $90m on DC Comics movie - because studio want to move away from made-for-streaming post-Covid projects


Batgirl film ‘canned’ by Warner Bros. after spending $90m on DC Comics movie – because studio want to move away from made-for-streaming post-Covid projects

  • The movie will not be released in theaters or streaming services despite $90 million being spent on the movie
  • The decision on the film — which was slated to be released later this year — came after a series of test screenings were panned by audiences
  • The studio wants to go back to big theatrical event releases 
  • The decision has come as a shock because studios almost never shelve productions outright, preferring to get at least some return on their investment

The movie Batgirl has been ‘canned’ by Warner Bros.

An insider told the New York Post on Tuesday that the film will not be released in theaters or streaming services despite $90 million being spent on the movie.

The decision on the film — which was slated to be released later this year — came after a series of test screenings were panned by audiences, the source told the Post, and studio execs thought it would hurt the future of the brand.

Variety reports: ‘Studio insiders insist the decision to axe Batgirl was not driven by the quality of the film or the commitment of the filmmakers, but by the desire for the studio’s slate of DC features to be at a blockbuster scale. 

The studio wants to move away from made-for-streaming post-Covid projects and go back to big theatrical event releases.

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The latest: Batgirl film has been 'canned' by Warner Bros. after spending $90m on DC Comics movie - because studio want to move away from made-for-streaming post-Covid projects

The latest: Batgirl film has been ‘canned’ by Warner Bros. after spending $90m on DC Comics movie – because studio want to move away from made-for-streaming post-Covid projects

The site adds: ‘The decision comes as a shock because studios almost never shelve productions outright, preferring to get at least some return on their investment.’

A source told the outlet: ‘They think an unspeakable Batgirl is going to be irredeemable.’

The movie, which is directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and stars Leslie Grace in the titular role, also features a supporting cast including J.K. Simmons, Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser.

The film was not featured during a DC panel at Comic-Con in San Diego last month, where the brand traditionally showcases upcoming projects.

Batgirl was first planned as a release on HBO Max, with The Puck newsletter in April reporting that then-Warner Bros. exec Toby Emmerich had been milling over a potential release in theaters for the movie.

Behind-the-scenes: The decision on the film — which was to be released later this year — came after test screenings were panned by audiences, and studio execs thought it would hurt the future of the brand; an explosion sequence was filmed in Glasgow, Scotland, in January

Behind-the-scenes: The decision on the film — which was to be released later this year — came after test screenings were panned by audiences, and studio execs thought it would hurt the future of the brand; an explosion sequence was filmed in Glasgow, Scotland, in January 

Emmerich left the company this past June to begin his own production company, following the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery, with David Zaslav being named CEO. 

Zaslav has reorganized Warner Bros. with a ‘DC-based film production’ branch, Variety reported in June.

The movie was initially put into motion last year as Warner Bros. was striving to produce films for HBO Max.

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Sources with the studio told Variety that the film’s quality and work from filmmakers were not a factor in the decision, as the studio wanted its DC releases to be on a blockbuster level.

Warner Bros. continues to debate how to handle next year’s planned release of The Flash amid multiple accusations of misconduct aimed at star Ezra Miller.

Star-studded: J.K. Simmons (pictured) along with Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser are among the supporting cast for the film; seen in February in Glasgow, Scotland

Star-studded: J.K. Simmons (pictured) along with Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser are among the supporting cast for the film; seen in February in Glasgow, Scotland

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