Will Batgirl Ever Be Released? Recent Developments after the Movie’s Cancellation
DC's Batgirl made quite the noise for all the wrong reasons in early August 2022. The movie was not talked about for being canceled.
Warner Bros axed the $90 million nearly-completed project starring Leslie Grace because of many reasons, income and taxes being one of them. The company's statement termed the cancellation a "strategic" move.
But, despite being declared dead, the show has not stopped creating headlines, and with a few developments towards the end of August, people are now asking if the movie will ever see the light of the day again.
Batgirl’s Cancellation and Pleas for Release
To understand the recent developments, we have to understand why the movie was declared unreleasable in the first place.
Batgirl's development started in May 2016 with a few hiccups along the way; the casting began in July 2021, and the filming began in November 2021 in Glasgow, the usual place of choice for Gotham. The filming wrapped up in March 2022 and entered post-production.
However, with significant parts of the post-production done, Warner Bros. announced in early August 2022 that the movie was scrapped and declared unfit for release.
This, according to the studio, had to do with the change in leadership at Warners, cost-cutting prioritizations, and a focus on more theatrical releases.
Leslie Grace as the lead in the now-cancelled DC movie 'Batgirl.' (Photo: Batgirl/Instagram)
Batgirl was supposed to be an installment in the DCEU but was deemed unfit to be released on HBO Max original and too small to get a theatrical release. The cancellation made it one of the most-expensive movie cancellations of all time.
Reported bad audience reactions at test screenings were also speculated to be one of the reasons for the cancellation.
This all happened at the beginning of August. By the end, however, a few other things surfaced.
Firstly, David Zaslav, the new CEO of Warner Bros. made Batgirl a tax write-off, saving a big amount of money for the studio. But this effectively means they could not release the movie anywhere at all.
ðŸ¥² https://t.co/bRDfc09rKm — Leslie Grace (@lesliegrace) August 11, 2022
After this, a lot of the cast members, like Grace, the directors — Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah — and others have made comments on wanting the movie to be released.
Some (anonymously) have even called the studio cowards for backing out of a project that affected so many lives and brought so many together.
There have even been a few "funeral screenings" of the movie before WB decides to lock it away forever. The directors have no access to any footage and have already made their pleas to the studio.
Father of one of the young actresses, Isla, shared an open letter begging the studio to at least provide him with some of the pictures of his daughter's scenes. He wanted the pictures to show to her mother and sisters and even said Isla was very upset at the news.
David Zaslav, @wbd @wbpictures if you are going ahead with scrapping Batgirl completely can I at least have some photos of my daughter Isla in her scenes to show her mum ,sisters etc, photos were taken on her day of filming and I was promised they would be released to me pic.twitter.com/eiKKMSUJ23 — alastair (@alastairneil29) August 27, 2022
All these have created a mild uproar on Twitter, with the hashtag #releasebatgirl already catching a bit of steam.
Some want the movie to be released just as a show of respect to everyone who worked on it, while others want to see how bad the movie actually was that even Michael Keaton, who reprised his role as Batman, could not save it.
Some on Reddit made the argument that it was hypocrisy from fans if they did not want the film to be released but wanted Jack Snyder's Justice League to be released.
After all, both the movies have gone through similar circumstances in their development.
Will Batgirl Ever Be Released?
There are remote possibilities of Batgirl being released, but even in those, there are a few caveats. These possibilities come courtesy of another movie canceled alongside it — Scoob!: Holiday Haunt.
The movies, while canceled simultaneously, were in different stages of completion. Scoob! was closer to being a final product than Batgirl, and as it turns out, WB spent a few more bucks to complete the movie even after its cancellation.
This move shows that the tax-write offs might not be as permanent as everyone thinks it is. Could DC do the same and complete Batgirl and then think of paying back the write-offs to release the movie?
Apparently, the studio does not want to do that. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Warners might actually take the other route and completely destroy Batgirl footage to ensure the IRS that they will not make any money from the project in the future.
What this would cause is the full benefits of the write-off immediately.
But, even if WB does not decide to go down the footage deletion route, the film might never see the light of the day in the same form the directors envisioned it.
If DC ever tries to release the movie, they might do it in the form of a web series, cutting up pieces of the existing footage and rearranging them, and adding things to it.
However, these are all speculations. And the question of 'will Batgirl ever be released?' remains unanswered, and the possibilities of its release bleak.