Warner Bros will no longer be releasing Batgirl. The DC film starring Leslie Grace already completed shooting and was expected to arrive on HBO max this year, but has been scrapped after a change in leadership at Warners.
The newly installed Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is deciding to prioritise cost-cutting measures and refocusing Warner on creating theatrical films rather than projects for streaming. Creating content for streaming was the priority for former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar.
Batgirl was budgeted at US$80 million, with costs rising to nearly US$90 million due to COVID-19 protocols. Whilst a hefty sum, it is still relatively lower than DC theatrical releases. In comparison, the recent The Batman movie starring Robert Pattinson had a budget of US$185 million, before marketing costs.
Batgirl was first announced in May 2021 with Bad Boys For Life and Ms Marvel directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah set to helm the project. Grace’s casting was announced two months later, followed by J.K. Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Michael Keaton and Ivory Aquino. The star-studded movie was highly anticipated especially since it was supposed to see Keaton return as Batman and debut DC’s first transgender character in a film.
Batgirl isn’t the only movie to be thrown in the bin. Scoob!: Holiday Haunt has also been scrapped for the same reasons.
“The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max,” said a Warner Bros. spokesperson in a statement.
“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.”