Just like many of the fandom and throughout Hollywood, I was also shocked to hear the news (at this rate it’s known everywhere now) that the upcoming Batgirl film from Warner Bros. Discovery has been shelved. Yup, this movie will not be released in theaters and HBO Max even if the film is already done. One of the reasons why the film was thrown away like trash by Warner Bros. Discovery it’s because of one thing, money.
From Variety, here’s what their article reported:
The death of “Batgirl” on Tuesday sent immediate shockwaves through Hollywood. The film — with a $75 million budget that grew to $90 million due to COVID-related overages — had finished shooting months ago and was in test screenings as directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (“Bad Boys for Life,” “Ms. Marvel”) worked through the post-production process. Star Leslie Grace (“In the Heights”) had given multiple interviews expressing her enthusiasm for landing the title role and working with co-stars Michael Keaton (as Batman), J.K. Simmons (as her character’s father, Commissioner Gordon) and Brendan Fraser (as the villain, Firefly).
In other words, the movie was nearly finished, and already building awareness among fans. Why would Warner Bros. Discovery throw all that away?
Even before David Zaslav took the reins of the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery as CEO this spring, the exec went on a well-publicized listening tour designed to repair the company’s relationship with the creative community. As part of that effort, Zaslav has made no secret of reversing Kilar’s strategy and committing to releasing first-run feature films in theaters before putting them on HBO Max.
“Batgirl” found itself on the bad end of that decision, apparently neither big enough to feel worthy of a major theatrical release nor small enough to make economic sense in an increasingly cutthroat streaming landscape. Spending the money to expand the scope of “Batgirl” for theaters — plus the $30 million to $50 million needed to market it domestically and the tens of millions more needed for a global rollout — could have nearly doubled spending on the film, and insiders say that was a non-starter at a company newly focused on belt-tightening and the bottom line. (Spokespeople for Warner Bros. and Warner Bros. Discovery declined to comment for this story.)
Releasing the movie on HBO Max would seem to be the most obvious solution. Instead, the company has shelved “Batgirl” — along with the “Scoob!” sequel — and several sources say it will almost certainly take a tax write-down on both films, seen internally as the most financially sound way to recoup the costs (at least, on an accountant’s ledger). It could justify that by chalking it up to a post-merger change of strategy.
Doing so, however, would mean that Warner Bros. cannot monetize either movie — no HBO Max debut, no sale to another studio.
This move from Warner Bros. Discovery just looks so bad, and such spit to the face on so many dedicated people who worked on Batgirl and many other films that got shelved. What makes it looks even worse is the fact that a film that has so much controversy around it, The Flash, is still seeing the light of day is honestly disgusting. This is just a whole mess and even I don’t think their PR team would be able to take off some of the wave of hate.