Never seen. Warner Bros. Discovery decided to throw the superhero film in the trash batgirl which was to be available in the United States on the HBO Max streaming platform. The feature film, already shot, and which cost the trifle of 90 million dollars (more than 88 million euros), will not be released in cinemas either.
Adaptation of the adventures of the DC Comics character, the film featured actress Leslie Grace in the lead role alongside Michael Keaton, who once again donned the mythical Batman costume.
The directors of batgirl expressed their dismay on Wednesday August 3. “We are saddened and amazed by the news. We still can’t believe it”said Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah on Instagram.
“As directors, it is essential that our work be shown to the public, and even if the film was far from finished, we would have liked for fans around the world to be able to see it and understand it”, added the two Belgians. Much of the post-production work – the stage where, for example, the special effects are added – was already wrapped up.
Amazement in Hollywood
In their message, the directors, who notably signed Bad Boys for Lifepaid tribute to the “fantastic actors” on the movie poster. “Anyway, as big Batman fans since we were kids, it was a privilege and an honor to be a part of [l’univers cinématographique DC], even for a short time. “Batgirl” forever”they concluded.
The studio’s decision stunned Hollywood, where movie industry insiders assured that such a cancellation was unprecedented for a work almost finished – and having cost so much money.
batgirl seems to have been the collateral victim of the merger between Warner Bros and Discovery. Warner Bros had planned to produce films intended to be released directly on the HBO Max platform. But this choice, justified in part by the need to bypass cinemas in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, was not unanimous, and the studios seem to have backtracked after their merger with Discovery.
“The decision not to go out batgirl reflects our strategic shift as it relates to the DC Universe and HBO Max”a Warner spokesperson said in a statement, adding that Leslie Grace is “an incredibly talented actress, and [que] this decision is not related to his performance”.
The sequel to “Scooby” also discarded
Although less expensive than many superhero movies that typically cost between $150 million and $200 million, batgirl would nevertheless have been deemed too expensive for a streaming sector which is tightening its belt, and not spectacular enough for the big screen, condemning it to be stored, according to specialists in the field quoted by the magazine Variety.
Warner Bros also shelved the film’s sequel Scooby. Producer and screenwriter Tony Cervone confirmed in an Instagram post that “the film is almost finished and went wonderfully. I am beyond broken hearted”.
New Warner Bros. Discovery general manager David Zaslav has explained that big-budget films are best served by a theatrical rollout. But to market a film like batgirl for that kind of release would require tens of millions of dollars more. The group which is due to publish its second quarter results on Thursday was obviously not ready to go that far.