Warner Bros. Kills ‘Batgirl’ film, $90 million in : NPR


Actress Leslie Grace at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2021. Grace filmed the title role in Batgirl — has been permanently shelved by the studio.

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Jason Kempin/Getty Images


Actress Leslie Grace at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2021. Grace filmed the title role in Batgirl — has been permanently shelved by the studio.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

In a move that surprised Hollywood observers for the amount of money wasted, Warner Bros. announced. Discovery on Tuesday that he is putting all the plans to release the film that was almost finished. Batgirlwith actress Leslie Grace.

The film was originally planned with a budget of $75 million which went up to $90 million, due to delays related to COVID. It was directed by duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, whose credits include the 2020 vehicle Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Bad Boys for Life as well as the recent Disney + series Ms. Marvel.

In a statement reported by multiple media sources, a Warner Bros. spokesperson wrote: “The decision not to release Batgirl it represents a strategic change in our leadership as it relates to the DC Universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an extremely talented actress and this decision is not a reflection of her performance.”

Warner Bros. did not respond. NPR requests for comment.

Senior entertainment writer at DiversityAdam B. Vary, reporting on the Batgirl saga. He notes that the film was meaningful to fans. “Not only did Leslie Grace – a Latina actress – lead the film, but this is a work that hundreds, if not thousands, spent many months of their lives working on,” he says. “This film also had one of the first trans characters, based on a trans character in the comic books, played by a trans actor. Michael Keaton was back playing Batman in this film. So it was really seen by the fandom with its certain amount of excitement.”

On Tuesday, Diversity reported that the film was planned under WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar and Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff, and was originally scheduled to be released on the HBO Max streaming platform. Since then, David Zaslav has joined as CEO of the newly formed company Warner Bros. Discovery, and has reversed their corporate streaming-first plans. The fate Batgirlaccording to Diversity, it seems that he was involved in those strategic wars – but that jettisoning Batgirl would allow Warner Bros. Discovery wrote off the project on its taxes.

“Warner Bros. leadership decided to Discovery that they would basically write off Batgirlthat instead of releasing it on HBO Max, they could clear their ledger – their debt ledger – by writing it off,” Vary says.

In a statement posted on Instagram on Tuesday, the film’s directors El Arbi and Fallah write in part: “We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it. As directors, it is essential that our work is shown to the audience, and although the film was far from finished, we wish all good luck to his fans. the world would have a chance to see the final movie and take it for themselves. maybe someday insha’Allah they will. he was part of the DCEU [DC Extended Universe], even if it was for a brief moment. Batgirl for Life.”

When the Batgirl news was first reported, it was through the New York Post. The IS PostEntertainment critic Johnny Oleksinski tells NPR that his source blamed poor audience response on rough screening.

“He tested poorly,” Oleksinski asserts. “He tested in the 30s, and as anyone knows, if you test in the 30s, you fail math and have to repeat eighth grade. Batgirl it’s a despicable film.”

But, says Oleksinski, there are plenty of lousy movies that go to theaters.

“We have to admit that Val Kilmer in a stuffed Batsuit with Joel Schumacher made it on our screens,” he notes. “Over at Universal, the movie Cats it made it to our screens. They weren’t on the shelf and they probably knew they weren’t going to make any money, and lose a bunch of money, and be embarrassed. So this really comes as a shock. I don’t think you could find a precedent that has happened before.”

DiversityAnd Adam B. Vary says that destiny Batgirl very different from the upcoming film The Flashdue for release in June 2023. Miller (who uses the pronouns they/them) is currently facing a few legal issues: they were caught twice in Hawaii earlier this year on charges of assault, disorderly conduct and harassment. The parents of an 18-year-old in North Dakota have filed legal claims saying that Miller groomed and controlled their child for several years.

“So far,” according to Vary, “Ezra Miller has not spoken publicly about any of the allegations, and Warner Brothers has not made any public declarations about it. But this is an unprecedented problem – and many DC fans Comics and superhero fans are wondering what Warner Brothers is going to do here Batgirl decision – many people are wondering if they could do the same for her The Flash.”

At the same time that Batgirl hit the ax, Warner Bros. Discovery also announced that the film Scoop!: Holiday Haunt also shelved. It was a sequel to the 2020 film Scope!of them Diversity write in his review: “These are tough times, and parents might appreciate having a virtual babysitter to distract their kids for 90 minutes, in which case, Scope! It’s definitely more effective than sitting them in front of the fish tank.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday’s Instagram story, Leslie Grace posting a clip of someone lip syncing. The song: “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.

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