The Batgirl film was greenlit in 2021, however, it will now never see the light of day, despite shooting already being completed and the film being in post-production. The film starred In The Heights actress Leslie Grace as well as Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser.
Batgirl was set to be a part of a wider plan for Warner Bros to distribute films specifically for the streaming service HBO Max. Directed by Ms Marvel directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the studio announced on Tuesday the flick would no longer be released.
Keaton reprised his role as Batman alongside Grace who played the titular hero Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), the daughter of Commissioner Gordon. Fraser was the film’s sole villain, playing the role of Firefly.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the budget played a key part in the film being axed, as it rose to nearly $90m. Studio execs decided it didn’t have the “spectacle that audiences have come to expect from DC fare” and would not recoup its losses from being released.
A Warner Bros spokesperson said “the decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max.” Before adding that “Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance.”
The New York Post, however, reported that the film had been received so poorly in test screenings, with viewers calling it “irredeemable,” that Warner Bros had no choice but to cancel it. The news came from an unnamed source who also claimed the budget actually exceeded over $100m during production. “They think it’s unspeakable Batgirl is going to be irredeemable,” the source told the publication.
The decision to drop Batgirl makes it one of the most expensive films never to be released.