Legendary Caped Heroine Stopped in Her Tracks
Batgirl was one of the most hotly anticipated films coming out of the DCEU. The film was set to star In The Heights break out Leslie Grace in the leading role of Barbara Gordon, while Micheal Keaton was set to reprise his iconic role as Bruce Wayne for the second time since the 1992 film Batman Returns (his first appearance will be in next year’s The Flash). The movie is just about finished too. However, fans learned on August 2, 2022, with shock and dismay, that they will not be seeing Batman’s legendary sidekick on the big screen or HBO Max anytime soon. They may never see the film ever.
Warner Bros. Discovery has effectively shelved Batgirl from all release options, meaning that the $90 million film, which has been filming since November 2021, is officially dead. The movie was initially designed to be released on HBO Max before being considered for a theatrical release under a budget of $70 million. The studio was forced to elevate the project to $90 million due to production shutdowns caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.
According to inside sources, despite the increased budget and the reshoots, studio executives decided that the movie wasn’t working the way they wanted. Warner Bros. Discovery recently went through a historic merger, and the movie’s production had begun beforehand. It was ultimately the new management, led by CEO David Zaslav, that decided to pull the plug on the movie. Their reasoning was they did not see Badgirl as a big theatrical event and they are looking to elevate DC Films as such projects. However, they still love directors Acil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and starring actress Leslie Grace and fully intend to continue working with them on separate projects going forward.
The character Batgirl has been ingrained into the Batman mythology for more than 50 years. Barbara Gordon is the daughter of longtime Batman ally Jim Gordon, the commissioner of the Gotham City Police. Barbara became one of the most popular super heroines in comic book history and has played a key role in many famous Batman storylines.
Her most famous arguably is in the classic Batman graphic novel The Killing Joke, which saw her shot near fatally by the Joker and left paralyzed from the waist down. She would temporarily hang up her cowl to aid Batman as The Oracle, a tech-savvy aide to the caped crusader in the field. Her alter ego as Batgirl was, in the meantime, taken by other classic characters such as Huntress (Helena Rosa Bertinelli) and Orphan (Cassandra Cain) until Barbara was eventually able to reclaim her identity as the hero.
As of this writing, there has been no comment from the studio about the film’s cancellation. It’s also worth noting that Batgirl isn’t the only project canceled by Warner Bros. Discovery. Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, a spin-off sequel to the 2020 film Scoob!, was set to be released in December, but it too was canceled by the studio. The film had a $40 million budget, but the project was shut down as a cost-cutting measure.
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