Batgirl: DC Film Gets Shelved At Warner Bros., No Plans For Cinematic Or Streaming Release

Initially reported by the New York Post, followed by the main media outlets, they are reporting that Warner Bros. have decided to shelve the upcoming DC film Batgirl, which will not only not get a cinematic release, but it will also not be put onto the streaming service HBO Max.

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Batgirl, whose alias is most generally known to be that of Commissioner James Gordon’s daughter Barbara Gordon, first appeared in DC Comics in 1967 and has featured over various animated series, as well as live-action form on the small screen through Batman and Birds of Prey, as well as featuring on the big screen in Batman & Robin and recently The LEGO Batman Movie.

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The film, which was already in the midst of post-production, had initially been set for HBO Max as part of the old regime’s strategy as WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar wanted to create live-action and animated films directly for streaming to boost subscribers. Unfortunately under the new regime following the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, they believe that such big-budget films made directly for streaming make no financial sense, and have not only decided to take a loss by shelving a $90m budget DC film, but they have also shelved animated film Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, which had a budget of around $40m.

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A spokesperson for Warner Bros. released a statement saying:

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.

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Deadline looked further into the film being shelved, with some reports citing that it was due to the film being ‘bad’. Sources told the outlet that the film tested once and that the results weren’t as bad as initially reported, considering the cut had temporary visual effects which tend to temper audience enthusiasm in the scores. The timing could not be worse however as Deadline also reported that the co-directors, Adil El Arbi and Billal Fallah, learned of the film being canned when they were in Morocco….for El Arbi’s wedding.

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I can only imagine how incredibly disappointing it is for the creative team and crew involved in the productions of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt that they’ve come to learn that their efforts won’t reach any audience at all, because, as the Variety report on the subject tackled, is that sources told them that both films will almost certainly be tax write offs and the studio can recoup most of the costs.

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The film was written by Christina Hodson, directed by filmmaking duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, and starred Leslie GraceJ.K SimmonsJacob ScipioBrendan FraserMichael KeatonRebecca FrontCorey JohnsonEthan Kai and Ivory Aquino.