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

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

The decision was highly unusual for a film with such a high price tag in the final stages of completion. But the studio ultimately decided that “Batgirl” didn’t qualify for either a streaming debut or a theatrical release, and instead released the film entirely, starring “In the Heights” star Leslie Grace and co-starring Batgirl and Michael Keaton. Selected to write. as Batman), JK Simmons and Brendan Fraser. It was directed by Adil El Arabi and Bilal Falah. Production wrapped in April.

Warner Bros. The decision, without any apparent parallel in Hollywood history, sent shock waves through the industry. When a big-budget film doesn’t meet the studio’s expectations, it is usually sold out or quietly abandoned with little fanfare. “Batgirl,” before WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery Inc., instead would not see the light of day after reportedly poor test screenings.

“We are saddened and shocked by this news. We still can’t believe it,” El Arbi and Falah said in a statement on Wednesday. “As directors, it is important that our work is shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we want fans around the world to have the opportunity to see and embrace the final film for themselves. Maybe That one day they will inshallah (if Allah wills it).”

the directors signed their Statementposted on Instagram, “Batgirl for Life.”

Warner Strategy Variations

Under new Warner Bros. Discovery chief executive David Zaslav, Warner Bros. is changing its strategy on film releases and lower costs. Under previous chief executive Jason Killer and partly as a pandemic response, the studio implemented day-to-day releases, starting films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max in 2021. Other films, such as “Batgirl”, were made entirely for HBO Max.

This year, Warner Bros. has returned to special theater windows for at least 45 days before sending movies to HBO Max. While “Batgirl” isn’t as expensive as many superhero movies, which typically cost $150-200 million to make, it is a big-budget movie for the HBO Max title. Zaslav has maintained that big budget films are best served by a theatrical rollout. But that kind of release would require crores and crores to market a film like “Batgirl”. Warner Bros. Discovery is set to report second-quarter earnings on Thursday.

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

Warner Bros. also postponed “Scoob!: Holiday Hunt”, which was the 2020 “Scoob!” The sequel is almost done. Producer and writer Tony Cervon confirmed in an Instagram post Tuesday that “Scoob!” The film was canned.

“Yeah, I’m afraid it’s true,” Cervone wrote. “The film is practically finished and turned out beautifully. I am beyond heartbroken.”

The “Batgirl” cancellation comes as Warner Bros. is trying to revamp its DC Films operations. While “The Batman” did well with $770.8 million in ticket sales earlier this year, Warner’s DC release has been uncertain and riddled with controversy. Released next June, “The Flash” stars Ezra Miller, who has been arrested twice this year in Hawaii for disorderly conduct and on suspicion of assault.

Warner Bros. is hoping to reorganize and reset its DC pipeline — with its rival Marvel bigger, not smaller. Ultimately, “Batgirl” didn’t live up to those plans.

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