In a shocking move for DC fans, Warner Bros. has decided not to release the highly anticipated superhero movie Batgirl. The movie had completed filming and was in the post-production stage when the decision was made.

Batgirl will thus never see the light of the day in theatres or the HBO Max streaming service, where it was expected to arrive later in 2022.

Why Warner Bros. axed Batgirl

Warner Bros. merged with Discovery in April and is trying to find ways to save USD 3 billion in costs.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio is prioritising cost-cutting measures following the arrival of new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. While former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar prioritised streaming, the focus is now more on theatrical releases.

Citing a top Hollywood source, the New York Post, which first reported the development, said that the studio wanted to cut its losses after the film got a dismal reception during test screenings.

As per multiple reports, Batgirl cost USD 90 million, including overcharges related to COVID-19. But, citing the source, the New York Post reports that the budget was over USD 100 million.

Besides Batgirl, the studio has also decided to shelve the USD 40 million animated film Scoob!: Holiday Haunt.

In the last few months, Warner Bros. has either shelved or cancelled shows such as Gordita Chronicles, Close Enough and J.J. Abrams’ HBO original Demimonde. The conglomerate also ended the streaming service CNN+ a month after its launch.

What the studio said

In a statement, a Warner Bros. spokesperson said, “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,” the spokesperson added.

Leslie Grace thanks fans on social media

Following the announcement, Grace took to Twitter to thank fans for their support.

“Querida familia! On the heels of the recent news about our movie “Batgirl,” I am proud of the love, hard work and intention all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over 7 months in Scotland,” she wrote in a tweet containing an artwork of her character.

“I feel blessed to have worked among absolute greats and forged relationships for a lifetime in the process! To every Batgirl fan – THANK YOU for the love and belief, allowing me to take on the cape and become, as Babs said best, “my own damn hero!” #Batgirl for life!” read a second tweet, which also has a video where Grace is seen singing.

A diverse cast

Batgirl stars Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. Grace, who is of Dominican heritage, is the first Latina to play the role.

Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah of Bad Boys for Life (2021) fame, the cast of the film includes Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, J.K. Simmons as Barbara’s father, Commissioner James Gordon and Brendan Fraser in the role of the antagonist Firefly.

Filipino-American actress Ivory Aquino plays the transgender character Alysia Yeoh in the film.

(Main and Featured images: IMDb)

written by.
Manas Sen Gupta
Manas enjoys reading detective fiction and writing about anything that interests him. When not doing either of the two, he checks Instagram for the latest posts by travellers. Winter is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.

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