In an unprecedented move, Warner Bros. has canceled the upcoming superhero film, Batgirl, which is already nearing completion.
First reported by The New York Post, Warner Bros. decided to axe the DC film that is set to premiere in HBO Max this year because its test screenings were poorly received by audiences, inciting the film company to abandon the project entirely in fear of it being unprofitable.
This effectively makes Batgirl no longer available for fans to watch in theaters or streaming services even though its filming had already wrapped back in March.
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However, Variety reported that sources from the studio said that the decision to cancel the film was not because of poor quality, but because of the company's preference to make DC films available for a major global release in theaters.
This has something to do with the newly installed Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Zaslav wanted to trim financial costs and focus on creating films slated for a theater release rather than streaming.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Batgirl's budget is hovering to nearly $90 million, but it is still lower than DC theatrical releases, which is why the film is said to have a lower quality.
First announced in 2017, the film had In the Height's Leslie Grace in lead role while Brendan Fraser was set to play the villain, Firefly. J.K. Simmons and Michael Keaton were also set to co-star.