Warner Bros. Discovery has shelved its $90 million project Batgirl in its final stage of production and decided against releasing the film either on OTT or in theatres, Hollywood entertainment portal Deadline reported on Wednesday.
The DC film had already completed shooting and was expected to arrive on HBO Max this year.
According to Deadline, the unexpected move comes after a change in leadership at Warners, with newly appointed Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav prioritizing cost-cutting measures and refocusing Warners on creating theatrical films rather than projects for streaming.
Batgirl had a budget of around $80 million, with costs rising to nearly $90 million due to COVID-19 protocols. However, the budget is significantly lower in comparison to other DC theatrical releases, thus the film is said to not have the spectacle that audiences have come to expect from a DC film.
Helmed by Bad Boys for Life director duo of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, Batgirl stars In the Heights star Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. Grace is the first Latina to play the iconic role.
Earlier, in January, Grace shared the first-look photo of herself in Batgirl costume on Instagram and wrote, “I use their expectations against them. That will be their weakness. Not mine. Let them all underestimate me… And when their guard is down, and their pride is rising, let me kick their butts. - Batgirl, Year One #Batgirl”
The cast of the film also includes Michael Keaton, back as Batman, J.K. Simmons as Barbara’s father, Commissioner James Gordon, and Brendan Fraser as the villain, Firefly.
According to reports, Warner Bros. Discovery leadership had been looking to find $3 billion in cost savings after the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery in April.
The studio has also scrapped other major projects along the way including the animated feature Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, which had a budget in the $40 million range and J.J. Abrams’ high-budget HBO original Demimonde, which is rumoured to have an over $200 million budget.