Warner Bros. Studios has officially canceled DCEU’s upcoming project, Batgirl, citing several reasons for the decision.
Batgirl was slated for a late-2022 or early-2023 release with directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah on board. Leslie Grace was roped in to play the titular role, with a much-awaited return of Michael Keaton as Batman.
Though WB carefully picked the cast and crew with abundant talent, Warner Bros decided to cancel the film, announcing that the film will not release in theaters or on HBO Max. This also explains Batgirl’s absence from the DC panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
Warner Bros. cited several reasons for the cancelation of the film. One of the main reasons behind its cancelation was the test screenings for the film. WB was initially eyeing a late-2022 release for the film, and so began the test screenings for all significant films to gauge audience reception.
According to The New York Post, the initial test screenings for Batgirl received shockingly poor responses from the viewers. The audience reaction was so underwhelming that Warner Bros decided to cancel the film altogether.
The studio believes that Batgirl would further damage DCEU’s future and does not want to risk substantial financial losses. Thus, they decided to shelve the film altogether.
Another reason behind the cancellation is that Batgirl did not fit Warner Bros’ vision of the DCEU’s future. The studios were committed to making the upcoming DCEU films larger-than-life, event-style, and theatrical, but Batgirl did not fit this description.
After reshoots and COVID delays, the film’s budget came close to $100 million, but the film’s poor reception at testing convinced WB that it is not close to their other upcoming projects, such as Black Adam and Shazam 2.
After the decision to cancel Batgirl, the next film that comes to mind is Blue Beetle, which is slated to release in 2023. Blue Beetle was green-lit as a mid-budget film for HBO Max. The film’s budget has not been revealed, but it is assumed to be similar to that of Batgirl.
Thus, WB’s decision to cancel Batgirl might also affect upcoming mid-budget releases, such as Blue Beetle. Hopefully, other upcoming DCEU projects do not meet the same fate.
Batgirl was an upcoming superhero film in the DC Extended Universe. It was supposed to have an exclusive debut on HBO Max sometime in 2022-23 and was slated to be directed by Adil Al Arbi and Bilall Fallah (previously worked on Ms Marvel) with a screenplay by Christina Hodson (screenwriter for Birds of Prey). Kristin Burr was listed as the producer.
In July 2021, it was confirmed that Leslie Grace will be playing Batgirl/Barbara Gordon. However, due to unavoidable circumstances, Warner Bros. announced in 2022 that the upcoming film has been cancelled.