The production hell over at Warner Bros. amid their new Discovery overlords have claimed two more victims. Batgirl, the first of the DC films that were set to premiere on HBO Max, has reportedly been shelved along with Scoob!: Holiday Haunt as reported later in the day. The Batgirl news first came from the New York Post [of all places] and was later confirmed by The Wrap and The Hollywood Reporter. THR also confirmed the Scoob! news as well. The changing in strategies and the ballooning of the budget of Batgirl are being cited as primary reasons why the projects have been shelved. Batgirl, in particular, managed to get to a budget of $90 million due to shooting during COVID, which is apparently just enough money that the new higher-ups in Warner Bros. don't even want to finish post-production and toss it on a streaming service [which is a bit baffling]. The Post also cites poor test audience reactions as a reason why a movie with a budget pushing $100 million would be shelved.
"They think an unspeakable 'Batgirl' is going to be irredeemable," the source said.
To shelve something like Batgirl means that people think the movie will be so bad it will damage the overall IP and brand. At this point, considering the issue with The Flash, we might not see Michael Keaton return as Batman after all of the bending over backward Warner Bros. probably needed to do to get him to come back at all. What a mess.
The Batgirl movie had a hard time getting to the big screen, and that is saying something considering some of the DC projects that have struggled over the years. It was going to be brought to the big screen by Joss Whedon before it was widely reported that he was a terrible person and promptly left the project. The movie picked up some new directors last year in the form of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, and it was supposed to first DC project to make its debut on HBO Max.
Back in July of last year, it was announced that Leslie Grace of In The Heights fame had snagged the coveted role of Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl. We got some minor plot details for Batgirl during DC FanDome and a piece of concept art. Jacob Scipio, who was one of the stars of the much better than it had any right to be Bad Boys For Life, joined the cast in an unknown role. J.K. Simmons is also set to return as Commissioner Gordon. We learned that Brandon Fraser would play the villain at the end of October last year. Though we don't know the exact villain, the rumors said it might be Firefly. Production on the movie recently started at the end of last year, and Batgirl was supposed to release at some point this year.