Jason Kempin/Getty Images
In a move that shocked Hollywood watchers for the amount of money wasted, Warner Bros. Discovery announced on Tuesday that it is shelving all plans to release the near-completed film. bat girlwith actress Leslie Grace.
The film was originally planned with a budget of $75 million which had ballooned to $90 million, due to COVID-related delays. It was directed by the duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, whose credits include the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence 2020 vehicle bad boys for life as well as the recent Disney+ series Ms. Marvel.
In a statement reported by multiple media outlets, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. wrote: “The decision not to publish bat girl reflects the strategic shift in our leadership with respect to the DC Universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actress and this decision does not reflect her performance.”
Warner Bros. did not respond to NPR’s requests for comment.
Senior Entertainment Writer at VarietyAdam B. Vary, reported on the bat girl saga. He notes that the film was meaningful to fans. “Not only was Leslie Grace – a Latina actress – leading the film, but it’s a work that hundreds, if not thousands, of people have spent many, many months of their lives working on,” says- he. “That movie also had one of the first trans characters, based on a trans character that’s in the comics, played by a trans actor. Michael Keaton was coming back to play Batman in that movie. So he was really seen by the fandom with some degree of excitement.”
Tuesday, Variety reported that the film was planned under the direction of Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, and Ann Sarnoff, CEO of Warner Bros., and was originally slated for release on the HBO Max streaming platform. Since then, David Zaslav has become CEO of the new company Warner Bros. Discovery and canceled its streaming-focused business plans. The fate of bat girlaccording Variety, seems to have been linked to these strategic wars – but this rejection bat girl would allow Warner Bros. Discovery to amortize the project on its taxes.
“Warner Bros. Discovery management has decided that they will essentially cancel bat girlthat instead of posting it on HBO Max, they could clean up their ledger — their debt ledger — by canceling it,” Vary explains.
In a statement posted to Instagram on Tuesday, the makers of the film El Arbi and Fallah wrote in part: “We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still cannot believe it. As directors, it is essential that our work is shown to the public, and although the film is far from finished , we wish that fans around the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe they will one day insha’Allah… Anyway, in as big Batman fans since we were little, it was a privilege and an honor to have been a part of the DCEU [DC Extended Universe], even if only for a brief moment. Batgirl for life.”
When the bat girl news was first reported, it is via the New York Post. The JobEntertainment critic Johnny Oleksinski told NPR that his source blamed the audience’s poor response to a crude showing.
“He tested badly,” says Oleksinski. “It was tested in the 1930s, which as everyone knows, if you test in the 1930s, you fail math and have to retake eighth grade. bat girl is a lousy movie.”
But, adds Oleksinski, there are a lot of lousy movies coming to theaters.
“We have to acknowledge that Val Kilmer in a Joel Schumacher nippled Batsuit has arrived on our screens,” he notes. “At Universal, the film Cats arrived on our screens. They weren’t cast aside and they were probably very aware that they weren’t going to make money, lose a lot of money and be embarrassed. So this really comes as a shock. I don’t think you can find a precedent for this to have happened before.”
Variety‘s Adam B. Vary says the fate of bat girl is surprisingly different than the next movie the flashscheduled for release in June 2023. Miller (who uses the pronouns they/them) is currently facing a host of legal issues: they were stopped twice in Hawaii earlier this year for assault, disorderly conduct and harassment. The parents of an 18-year-old from North Dakota have also filed lawsuits claiming that Miller groomed and controlled their child for several years.
“To date,” observes Vary, “Ezra Miller hasn’t spoken publicly about any of the allegations, nor has Warner Brothers really made a public statement about it. But it’s an unprecedented issue – and a lot of DC Comics fans and superhero fans are wondering what Warner Brothers is going to do here. bat girl decision – many people wonder if they could do the same for the flash.”
At the same time as bat girl met the axe, Warner Bros. Discovery also announced that the film Scoob! : The holiday haunt was also put on hold. It was a sequel to the 2020 film Scoob!whose Variety wrote in his review: “These are tough times, and parents can be grateful to have a virtual babysitter to entertain their kids for 90 minutes, in which case, Scoob! is surely more effective than sitting them in front of the aquarium.”
Meanwhile, on an Instagram story on Wednesday, Leslie Grace job a clip of someone in lip sync. Song: “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.