Warner Bros. confirms that Batgirl will never be released. What does this mean for DC, and does Batgirl have a future on the big screen? In what seems like a time where DC is just struggling to even compete with Marvel’s worst projects, yet again DC has made another movie that has been so poorly perceived that the entire movie has been scrapped. According to Warner Bros. and DC, Batgirl, starring Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon, Michael Keaton, JK Simmons, and Brendan Fraser, will never be released, but the reasons are far more complex than meets the eye.
New Ownership’s Cancelling Spree, And 3 Billion Dollar Debt?!
Now, jumping into the reasoning behind why Batgirl got canceled starts from the very top of the organization over at Warner Bros. Due to the recent merger that occurred between Warner Bros and Discovery, Warner Brothers found themselves a new CEO; David Zalslav.
Since being appointed CEO, Zalslav has been extremely productive when it comes to the new vision that he has for the future of the company. He is either completely over-hauling projects or even just straight up axing them. Such is the case with The Flash, which ends early only after 13 episodes of its final season.
Now, what does this have to do with the Batgirl movie? To begin with, the axing of properties and overall overhaul is the result of Warner Brothers’ current financial situation. As many people are aware, Warner Bros. is currently $3 billion in debt. And let’s be honest: at a time when DC’s track record with movies is shaky at best, they can’t afford another huge loss on the books. Therefore, a simple tax right off of the movie and moving on with new guaranteed successful ventures makes more sense for them currently.
©The Glasgow Times
Batgirl Too Small For Cinema And Screen Testing Poorly Received
The biggest reason why the movie got entirely scrapped was simply due to the fact that the screen tests were very poorly received. Diving into the screen testing first, reports on the Batgirl movie have been extremely negative on that front. It was reported by a top source in Hollywood that the screening went down so poorly with the test audience that the studio decided to “cut its losses and run, for the sake of the brand’s future.” Many claimed the film was “irredeemable”.
Furthermore, according to multiple reports, the film was in an awkward place financially, the budget was too much for a TV show but not enough to rival Marvel’s movie quality. The original budget for the movie was $70 million. However, due to COVID and other reasons, the budget was further increased to nearly $100 million. Even though the movie was practically finished, it then left Warner Brothers in a very awkward place.
Poor screentests, financial risk, overall risk for the Batgirl IP and Warner Bros. brand, were enough to get the movie scrapped entirely. Many people had things to say about this decision, including the two directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who took to Instagram to say:
We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it.
It is hard to say what is in store for the future of DC and Batgirl as a whole. Yes, Warner Bros has recently merged and obtained a new CEO, but is that going to help DC actually catch up with Marvel? That remains to be seen. One thing that is for certain, though, is that it will be a while before we see DC and Warner Brothers release another movie IP that rivals the quality of the Dark Knight trilogy.