Warner Bros. brought two DC Comics films to San Diego Comic-Con recently: Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Those two films arrive in theaters this year, so that felt right. But another movie believed to be on the calendar for this year wasn’t at Comic-Con: Batgirl. The film starring Leslie Grace was set to premiere exclusively on HBO Max. However, The Hollywood Reporter has shared that Warner Bros. will no longer release Batgirl. We first spotted this news at The Wrap. Warner Bros. has since confirmed that it will, indeed, not release the Batgirl movie in any capacity.
The company offered the following statement with regard to Batgirl‘s cancellation.
The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance. We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.
On the heels of this cancellation, Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah also released an official statement expressing their sadness at the turn of events, but love of the movie and cast. Adil El Arbi even gave us a look at Michael Keaton as Batman on his Instagram stories.
Other cast and crew have also revealed their sadness at the canceled movie. Leslie Grace shared a moving message with her co-workers and fans. Meanwhile, others, like Jules Wallace, a martial artist and stunt combat performer who worked on Batgirl, have offered tidbits about what could have been. Most recently, we got our first look at the DC supervillain Killer Moth, who would have appeared in the movie.
The news of Batgirl‘s cancellation is surprising for many reasons. Mostly because Batgirl already completed shooting and was in post-production. That means the bulk of the money has already been spent. It seems odd that they wouldn’t finish the $90 million movie and release it on HBO Max. That budget is already lower than many DC Comics movies, so spending a little extra doesn’t seem unreasonable. Especially when you consider how much the company spent on reshoots for a cut of another film last year.
Batgirl featured Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl. The movie also featured J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Michael Keaton as Batman as mentioned above, and Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly. Additionally, Ivory Aquino played Alysia Yeoh, Batgirl’s best friend.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is shelving Batgirl because of a change in leadership. New Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is reportedly prioritizing theatrical films instead of projects directly for streaming. And this move doesn’t only affect Batgirl. Warner Bros. is also shelving Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, an animated feature.
Originally published on August 2.
Amy Ratcliffe is the Editor-in-Chief for Nerdist and the author of Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy, The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, The Jedi Mind, and more. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.