HBO Max’s Batgirl starring Leslie Grace has reportedly been shelved by Warner Bros. Discovery according to a report from The Wrap. The movie, which cost $90 million dollars to produce, seems to have failed to please the audience in the first test screenings, potentially leading to Warner Bros. Discovery‘s decision to shelve the project and prevent it from becoming a huge flop. Collider has spoken to people who saw the unfinished movie who told us it was a huge disappointment and looked cheap in comparison to other films.
While information about Batgirl’s plot is scarce, the movie was supposed to connect to the bigger DC Extended Universe, with J.K. Simmons returning as Commissioner James Gordon, a part he played in both versions of Justice League. Michael Keaton, who played Batman for Tim Burton‘s 1989 Batman and 1992 Batman Returns, was also involved with the project in some measure, besides showing up in the upcoming The Flash film. Finally, Batgirl’s cast featured Brendan Fraser as Batman’s classic villain Firefly, Ivory Aquino as the transgender vigilante Alysia Yeoh, Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, and Ethan Kai.
Batgirl was being developed exclusively for HBO Max, with a smaller budget than big DC productions produced for theatrical releases. That might explain Warner Bros. Discovery’s decision to shelve the project, as the final result seems to have been deemed inferior to other superhero movies that the company is taking to theaters. THR reports that the cut, in addition to canning Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, is part of new cost-saving measures for the studio. Even so, it’s unfortunate that fans will never get to see Grace in the superheroine role, especially since Batgirl had been hyped as a 2022 release until its sudden cancellation.
Batgirl was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, from a script by Christina Hodson, who previously wrote Birds of Prey and the upcoming The Flash. Hodson’s connection to both Batgirl and The Flash indicated that the writer had a bigger plan to unite different DC projects under the same universe, but unfortunately, we might miss the two productions. The fate of The Flash is also hanging in the air since the movie’s leading star, Ezra Miller, was arrested in Hawaii for public misconduct, which reportedly led Warner Bros. Discovery to reevaluate the actor’s future inside the company. That would be a shame, considering that Keaton put his cape and cowl after 30 years to play the Dark Knight in both projects.
The next DC movies to hit theaters are Black Adam, on October 21, and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, on December 21. As revealed at SDCC, both productions are deeply connected to Justice League and previous DC movies. So far, Warner Bros. Discovery didn’t comment on the cancellation of Batgirl, or how it might affect the bigger plans for the DCEU.