In a surprising development, Warner Bros. will no longer publish bat girl, the DC movie that has already been filmed and is slated for release on HBO Max later this year. The unusual move comes after a leadership change at Warners, in which newly installed Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav prioritized cost-cutting measures and refocused Warners on theatrical filmmaking rather than streaming projects, as was the case for the former WarnerMedia CEO , Jason, a priority was Kilar.
bat girl was budgeted at around $80 million, with costs escalating to nearly $90 million due to the COVID-19 protocols. It’s a hefty sum, but significantly lower than DC theatrical releases, so the film isn’t meant to have the spectacle that audiences have come to expect from DC fare. (The Batmanwhich was released in March had a budget of $185 million before marketing costs.) Warners has also decided to drop the animated feature film Scoob!: Vacation Homewhich had a budget in the region of $40 million.
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bat girl Stars in the heights Breakout Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl – the first Latina to play the role – and hails from bad boys for life Filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. The cast also includes Michael Keaton as Batman, JK Simmons as Barbara’s father, Commissioner James Gordon and Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly. That New York Post reported first bat girl would be scrapped.
“The decision not to release Batgirl reflects the strategic shift in our leadership regarding the DC Universe and HBO Max,” a spokesman for Warner Bros. said in a statement. “Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actress and this decision does not reflect her achievement. We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Incredible bat girl and Schoob! holiday destination and their respective casts and we hope to work with all of them again in the near future.”
Insiders say big-budget movies made directly for streaming no longer make financial sense under the company’s new strategy. In June, Zaslav hired Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy from MGM to manage Warners, replacing Toby Emmerich.
Warner Bros. Discovery leadership had been looking for $3 billion in cost savings following the completion of the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger in April. Big cuts along the way for the conglomerate included streaming service CNN+, which cost $300 million before it pulled the plug a month after launch, and JJ Abrams’ pricey HBO original half worldtargeting a budget of over $200 million.
Meanwhile, HBO Max has narrowed its programming focus to originals and cuts The Gordita Chronicles after a single season as part of a shift in strategy away from live-action children’s and family programming. For linear networks under the Warner Bros. Discovery umbrella, like TNT and TBS, originals have also been cut in recent months.
Under Kilar, Warners smashed the theater window and sent its 2021 slate to HBO Max with the date and tag in a year-long experiment. Now, Zaslav seems to be making a total U-turn, emphasizing the importance of cinema over streaming when it comes to original films.
bat girl has traveled a winding road to this point. Joss Whedon initially signed on as a writer and director in 2017, but dropped out a year later. bat girls directors, working under the Adil & Bilall name, jumped on board in 2021 as they were keen to revive the Bad Boys Franchise.
In January this year Grace shared the first look photo of himself in costume, along with a quote from the comic book Batgirl: Year One: “I use their expectations against them. That will be their weakness. Not mine. Make me underestimate them all… And when their vigilance wanes and their pride rises, let me kick their ass.”
Aug 2, 8:28 p.m Updated to include a statement from Warner Bros.
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