Warner Bros.’ “The Flash” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” may be plagued with off-screen drama, but there is one DC movie suffering a more conclusive fate: the upcoming “Batgirl.”
The Warner Bros. Discovery film will be shelved indefinitely, a Warner Bros. representative confirmed to IndieWire. “Batgirl” was to star Leslie Grace (“In the Heights”) in the title role, with J.K. Simmons, Michael Keaton, and Brendan Fraser rounding out the cast. The film was originally set for an HBO Max release with reports that then Warner Bros. chair Toby Emmerich was considering a theatrical release as well.
However, now “Batgirl” will not be seen at all.
Warner Bros. Discovery is now prioritizing theaters for their DC IP, and “Batgirl” has not been deemed suitable for theatrical or HBO Max. The film proved to be a costly outing for the studio, with a reported budget of $90 million due to COVID protocols and shutdowns piling onto the already-$80-million movie.
Sources tell IndieWire that big-budget movies designed for streaming no longer fit under the new leadership’s model as they did under former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar. The company is also meanwhile shelving the HBO Max release of “Scoob!: Holiday Haunt,” budgeted at $40 million.
Directed by “Bad Boys for Life” co-helmers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who earned acclaim for their work on “Ms. Marvel,” “Batgirl” was not mentioned at all during the DC Comic-Con panel last month — a puzzling sign then, and now a telling one.
Warner Bros. Discovery is said to be actively looking for other projects for Leslie Grace and the filmmakers.
Emmerich parted ways with Warner Bros. following the Discovery merger, with CEO David Zaslav appointing MGM’s Michael De Luca in Emmerich’s place.
Upcoming DC installment “The Flash” reportedly was poised to set up the next phase of the DCU, with Michael Keaton and now Ben Affleck reprising their respective roles as different iterations of Batman in a multiverse-esque spanning film. Yet “The Flash” lead star Ezra Miller’s multiple arrests and abuse claims have thrown the path for the DCU into question.
On March 30, Warner Bros. and DC executives reportedly held an emergency meeting to discuss Miller’s future with the studio ahead of “The Flash” premiere in June 2023. Miller also stars in “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” in theaters April 15.
Rolling Stone reported that a knowledgeable source claimed the consensus from the Warner meeting was to “hit pause on any future projects involving Miller, including possible appearances in the DC Cinematic Universe.”
A source tells IndieWire, however, that no such meeting took place.