Holy crap, they just threw away millions!
Warner Bros. will "shelve" the DC Comics movie "Batgirl," a top Hollywood source told The Post.
That means that it won't be shown in theaters or on HBO Max. It won't be seen by fans.
The rumored $70 million movie (a source said it cost more than $100 million), which was showing test screenings to audiences in preparation for a release in late 2022, would be one of the most expensive movies that were never released.
People who went to the movies said that those tests were so bad that the studio decided to cut its losses and run for the sake of the future of the brand. It's a bad thing for DC.
"They think a terrible "Batgirl" will be beyond redemption," the source said.
The Post has asked Warner Bros. to say something about it.
The movie has had to walk in shame for months. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who directed "Bad Boys for Life," didn't say a word about "Batgirl" at DC's Comic-Con panel in San Diego in July, which was unusual and made people in the industry raise an eyebrow. The event, which has gotten a lot of attention, is meant to bring more attention to future projects like this one.
On the other hand, Marvel's Comic-Con presentation revealed that more than a dozen movies in the so-called Phases 5 and 6 of the MCU will be coming out between now and fall 2025, and even more are likely in the works.
The movie "Batgirl," with Leslie Grace ("In the Heights") as the title character and J.K. Simmons, Michael Keaton, and Brendan Fraser in other roles, was supposed to come out on HBO Max. In April, the Puck newsletter said that WB's chair at the time, Toby Emmerich, was thinking about putting the movie in theaters as well.
But Emmerich quit in June to start his own production company. This was right after Warner Bros. and Discovery merged and David Zaslav took over as CEO of the new company. He got rid of Emmerich and put MGM's Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy in his place. De Luca probably had to tell the "Bat" news to Abdy.
The film's co-directors have talked about casting in a few interviews, but the studio hasn't said anything about what they have planned for "Batgirl" since then.
Zaslav, who is always looking for ways to save money, would have no problem putting a multimillion-dollar project on hold. Remember that he was the one who cut the $300 million CNN+ streaming service just days after its big debut because it didn't get enough subscribers.
Variety says that WB has been split into different parts, one of which is a reorganized "DC-based film production" group.
With this in mind, it is said that WB is looking for a "head honcho" to run the stumbling DC Extended Universe and make it make sense, like Disney's Kevin Feige did with the much more successful Marvel Cinematic Universe. Walter Hamada is the president of DC Film Productions right now. On Thursday, Warner Bros. Discovery will report their earnings for Q2 and talk about their plans for the future.
DC needs all the help it can get right away.
Marvel Studios is a huge company whose movies sometimes get bad reviews but always make money. DC, on the other hand, is a disorganized, confusing, and not very profitable mess. Critics had mixed things to say about "Aquaman" and "Wonder Woman 1984." "Birds of Prey" and "The Suicide Squad" were well-liked flops.
"The Batman" did well for Warner Bros. at the box office, making $770 million with a R rating, and it was well reviewed. But "Aquaman" is the only DC Extended Universe movie to have made more money than "The Dark Knight," which came out 14 years ago ("Joker," starring Joaquin Phoenix, was not part of the DCEU). "Spider-Man: No Way Home," a Marvel movie set during the pandemic, has made $1.9 billion around the world, and "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has made a solid $955 million.
Recently, DC's nasty star drama has overshadowed whatever buzz there is about its movies.
This year, Ezra Miller, who plays the Flash, has been in a series of embarrassing scandals. The actor was arrested twice in Hawaii in the spring. The first time was for disorderly conduct and harassment, and the second time was for second-degree assault. Then, in June, the Standing Rock Sioux tribal court issued an order of protection against the 29-year-old actor for allegedly using "violence, intimidation, threat of violence, fear, paranoia, delusions, and drugs" to try to get close to an 18-year-old girl he has known since she was 12. Miller hasn't said anything about the latest accusation in public, and police are reportedly still looking into what happened in Hawaii.
Ben Affleck, on the other hand, says over and over that he's done playing the Caped Crusader. He even let Robert Pattinson play the role in this year's "The Batman," but he keeps coming back like a bad ex-boyfriend. Screen Rant said this week that the actor will play Bruce Wayne yet again in "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom." Perplexing.
People say that Gal Gadot will be in "Wonder Woman 3," but the actress and director Patty Jenkins haven't said anything more than that they're talking about script ideas. They haven't even said what the movie will be called or when it will come out. DC seems to have no big plan at all, since it wastes legendary properties with abandon.
But soon, it won't be Wonder Woman who is holding the golden lasso. Instead, the power will be held by an all-powerful head of DC film production who will try to make things better. Step 1 is to kill "Batgirl" before they get there.
The source said, "This is the end of DC as a hobby."