Warner Bros. axes “Batgirl,” won’t release  million HBO Max film

Warner Bros. axes “Batgirl,” won’t release $90 million HBO Max film

Warner Bros. axes “Batgirl,” won’t release  million HBO Max film

Warner Bros. has canceled the $90 million “Batgirl” movie planned for HBO Max, according to a person connected to the film who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.

The decision was highly unusual for such an expensive film in the final stages of completion. But the studio ultimately decided that “Batgirl” didn’t deserve a streaming debut or a theatrical release, and opted to scrap the movie altogether, starring “In the Heights” star Leslie Grace as Batgirl and co-starring Michael Keaton (returning as Batman), JK Simmons and Brendan Fraser. It was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Production ended in April.

Warner Bros.’ The decision, without any obvious parallel in Hollywood history, sent shockwaves through the industry. When a big-budget movie doesn’t live up to a studio’s expectations, it’s usually quietly sold or scrapped with little fanfare. “Batgirl,” greenlit before WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery Inc., simply won’t see the light of day after allegedly poor test screenings.

“We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still cannot believe it,” El Arbi and Fallah said in a statement on Wednesday. “As directors, it is critical that our work is shown to the public, and while the film is far from over, we wish fans around the world had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film. vai insha’Allah (God willing ).”

The directors signed declarationposted on Instagram, “Batgirl For Life”.

Warner’s Change of Strategy

Under the new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, Warner Bros. is changing its movie-release and cost-cutting strategy. Under former chief executive Jason Kilar, and in part in response to the pandemic, the studio implemented daily releases in 2021, opening films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. Other films, such as “Batgirl”, were produced exclusively for HBO Max.

This year, Warner Bros returned to exclusive theater windows for at least 45 days before submitting movies to HBO Max. While “Batgirl” isn’t as expensive as many superhero movies, which typically cost $150-200 million, it’s a bigger budget movie for an HBO Max title. Zaslav maintained that movies with bigger budgets are better served by a theatrical release. But marketing a movie like “Batgirl” for that kind of release would require tens of millions more. Warner Bros. Discovery is expected to release second-quarter results on Thursday.

Representatives from Warner Bros. and Warner Bros. Discovery declined to comment. The “Batgirl” plans were first reported by the New York Post.

Warner Bros. also shelved “Scoob!: Holiday Haunt”, a near-completed sequel to “Scoob!” 2020. Producer and writer Tony Cervone confirmed in an Instagram post on Tuesday that the “Scoob!” film was canned.

“Yes, I fear this is true,” Cervone wrote. “The movie is pretty much finished and it turned out beautiful. I’m beyond heartbroken.”

The cancellation of “Batgirl” comes as Warner Bros. is trying to revamp its DC Films operations. While “The Batman” earlier this year performed well with $770.8 million in ticket sales, Warner’s DC releases have been erratic and plagued by controversy. “The Flash,” due out next June, stars Ezra Miller, who was arrested twice this year in Hawaii in a case of disorderly conduct and on suspicion of assault.

Warner Bros. hopes to reorganize and redefine its DC pipeline – increasing, not smaller with its rival Marvel. Ultimately, “Batgirl” didn’t fit into those plans.

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