Warner Bros. Discovery sent shock waves across the film industry when it recently shelved the $90 million priced Batgirl movie. The film wrapped filming earlier this year and was in post-production when the studio “blindsided” not only the fans but also the cast and crew with the cancelation.
Batgirl lead Leslie Grace, who overcame racist backlash after her casting in the movie, was excited about bringing the iconic DC superhero to life and even teased talks of a sequel back in April. But it was all for nothing, as Batgirl will never see the light of day, not in theaters nor on streaming. Grace reacted to the news on Instagram last night, uploading candid BTS clips from the movie and thanking the fans for their love and the Batgirl cast and crew for their hard work.
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“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. 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!’”
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Batgirl was set to be a starring vehicle for Leslie Grace after her breakout role in the 2021 musical In the Heights. Batgirl also featured Brendan Fraser as the main antagonist, Firefly, in one of his first mainstream Hollywood roles in a decade, along with J.K. Simmons, Jacob Scipio, Ivory Aquino, and Michael Keaton as Batman from the 1989 classic.
While Batgirl was intended for an exclusive HBO Max debut, it had the attributes of a theatrical blockbuster too, especially with Keaton reprising his role as Batman. Even the skeptical fans were getting behind the movie after witnessing Grace’s enthusiasm and the director duo of Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah’s previous work in Bad Boys for Life and Ms. Marvel. Hopefully, this controversial decision won’t reflect on Grace and the filmmakers’ talents.
Batgirl’s Cancelation Will Have Negligible Financial Impact On Warner Bros. Discovery
Batgirl is probably the biggest, most expensive movie to have ever been killed in post-production in Hollywood. But per Variety, Warner Bros. Discovery won’t be suffering at least financially from the aftermath. Why? Because of a loophole called tax write-off. Batgirl was greenlit by the previous Warner Bros. regime and was supposed to be a streaming-only release, but after the Discovery merger, new CEO David Zazlav mandated that all DC films be released in theaters.
By that time, Batgirl’s budget had ballooned to almost $100 million and would have doubled from the marketing costs required for the theatrical run. Plus, the film wasn’t big enough to warrant a theatrical release in the first place and had become too costly for streaming. And combined with the poor test screenings, Batgirl was deemed a complete disaster, so rather than spend more money reworking the film, WBD decided to scrap it altogether.
While it’s unlikely that the studio will backtrack on its decision—the new CEO seems particularly stern—fan demand is not to be underestimated. #SaveBatgirl is already trending on Twitter and is picking up steam. But for now, Batgirl is officially dead.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s statement reads:
“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.”