So picture this, but live action, and tens of millions of dollars.
Photo: DC Entertainment/Warner Bros./Album/Alamy Stock Photo
Today in “lighting almost $100 million on fire” (no, this isn’t about crypto): Warner Bros. is treating its Batgirl movie like a rabid flying rodent and exterminating the poor creature. The Wrap reports that the studio will be shelving the nearly completed project because, as insiders put it, “the movie simply did not work.” The DC Comics adaptation was originally originally conceived and produced as an HBO Max release, was later being considered for a theatrical rollout, and will now have neither. Batgirl began production long before Warner Bros. merged into Warner Bros. Discovery in April 2022. According to The Wrap, the new management wants to gear its focus toward “big theatrical event films” rather than smaller stories.
Although the movie was announced with a $70 million budget, reports say that COVID shutdowns caused the budget to inflate to over $90 million, which we guess counts as a “smaller” story in this era of superhero entertainment. A source in the New York Post says the studio was already running test screenings for audiences and planning on a late 2022 release date but that the studio thinks “an unspeakable Batgirl is going to be irredeemable.”
The movie was meant to star In the Heights breakout Leslie Grace, and DC even released first-look images of her in the Batsuit back in October 2021, complete with a throwback utility belt and Barbara Gordon’s signature red hair. Batgirl had some heavies filling out the ensemble, with Michael Keaton returning to his Batman role, J.K. Simmons playing Commissioner Gordon, and Brendan Fraser as the villain, Firefly. It was directed by Ms. Marvel’s Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. News of Batgirl’s costly shelving comes days after a Bloomberg report about how Warner Bros. Discovery’s new president and CEO David Zaslav has mostly been appointing white men to top positions at the congloma-studio. It looks like Batgirl’s greatest nemesis of all … was corporate mergers.
Warner Bros. to Batgirl: Bye, Girl!
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