In a surprising development, Warner Bros. will no longer publish bat girl, the DC movie that has already wrapped and was supposed to hit HBO Max this year. The unusual move comes after a leadership change at Warners, the new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav prioritizing cost-cutting measures and refocusing Warners on creating theatrical films rather than streaming projects, as had been a priority for former WarnerMedia CEO Jason. Kilar.
bat girl was budgeted at around $80 million, with costs reaching nearly $90 million due to COVID-19 protocols. That’s a significant sum, but significantly less than DC’s theatrical releases, so the film is said to lack the spectacle audiences expect from DC fares. (The Batmanreleased in March, had a budget of $185 million, before marketing costs.) Warners also decided to put the animated feature on hold Scoob! : The holiday hauntwhich had a budget of approximately $40 million.
bat girl stars In the heights escape 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. Its cast also includes Michael Keaton, returning as Batman, JK Simmons as Barbara’s father, Commissioner James Gordon, and Brendan Fraser as the villainous Firefly. The New York Post first reported bat girl would be discarded.
Insiders say big-budget films made directly for streaming no longer make financial sense under the company’s new strategy. In June, Zaslav tapped MGM’s Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy to lead Warners, replacing Toby Emmerich.
The management of Warner Bros. Discovery was looking to save $3 billion after WarnerMedia and Discovery merged in April. Major cuts along the way for the conglomerate have included the CNN+ streaming service, which cost $300 million before the plug was pulled a month after launch, and JJ Abrams’ expensive HBO original Demimondewhich aimed to have a $200 million-plus budget.
Meanwhile, HBO Max has reduced its programming area for Originals, cutting The Chronicles of Gordita after just one season as part of a shift in strategy away from live-action children’s and family programming. Linear networks under the Warner Bros. Discovery like TNT and TBS have also had their originals cut in recent months.
Under Kilar, Warners smashed the theatrical window, sending its 2021 day and date slate to HBO Max in a year-long experiment. Now, Zaslav seems to be doing an about-face by emphasizing the importance of cinema over streaming in terms of original films.
bat girl traveled a winding road to this point. Joss Whedon first signed on to write and direct in 2017, then dropped out a year later. Bat girl’s, who do business as Adil & Bilall, came on board in 2021 as they were set to revitalize the Bad Boys franchise.
In January of this year, Grace shared the first photo of herself in costume, complete with a quote from the comic Batgirl: Year One“I use their expectations against them. This will be their weakness. Not mine. Let them all underestimate me… And when their guard is down and their pride rises, let me kick their ass.