There’s bad news today for Batgirl and Scooby Doo fans.
According to various reports from entertainment publications that include The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has decided to scrap Batgirl, a $185 million DC film centered on the superheroine that already finished shooting and was set for release on HBO Max this year. Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, an animated feature with a budget in the $40 million range, has also been axed by the film and entertainment giant.
Batgirl was canceled because “big-budget films made directly for streaming no longer make financial sense under the company’s new strategy,” according to industry insiders, something that has since been backed up by an official statement from Warner Bros that clarified its decision had little to do with the quality of the film.
“The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson explained. “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.”
Sources with the New York Post have suggested in a separate report that Batgirl’s cancellation actually did have more to do than just saving money, however, with some describing the film as being “irredeemable” on the quality scale.
The reportedly $70 million movie (the source said the budget was actually more than $100 million), which was doing test screenings for audiences in anticipation of a late 2022 debut, would rank among the most expensive cinematic castoffs ever.
Those tests were said to be so poorly received by moviegoers that the studio decided to cut its losses and run, for the sake of the brand’s future. It’s a DC disaster.
Batgirl was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the duo behind Bad Boys for Life and select episodes of Marvel Studio’s Ms. Marvel series on Disney+. The cast includes Leslie Grace (In the Heights), who plays the titular Bat Family member, as well as J.K. Simmons and Michael Keaton back in the roles of Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne/Batman, respectively.
Brendan Fraser even had a key role in the film, playing supervillain Garfield Lynns/Firefly, a pyromaniac who enjoys starting fires. Fraser can be seen in DC’s Doom Patrol, in which he stars as Robotman, a cyborg member of the superhero team.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter