The new DC Comics Batgirl movie has been permanently shelved by Warner Bros amidst reports that the "woke" iteration of the character was "irredeemable."
An anonymous Hollywood insider told the New York Post that audiences at test screenings received the film so poorly that they shuttered the project for the "sake of the brand's future."
"They think an unspeakable 'Batgirl' is going to be irredeemable," the insider told the Post.
The film had reportedly completed filming, despite some routine post-production work, and was set to be distributed later in 2022 on HBO Max with a possible theatrical release. Batgirl's budget was at least $70 million while some claim it was upwards of $100 million. It's now been pulled from HBO Max, theaters, and any other streaming service.
According to the Daily Mail, "woke" Batgirl "may even be the most expensive film ever made that will never see the light of day" and "Warner Bros has decided the reputational damage of releasing such a dud would be even worse than wasting the tens of millions of dollars it has already spent on it."
Bonding Into Comics said it was "another devastating blow to the DCEU and its ongoing attempt to find direction," and that Warner Bros Discovery reportedly "pulled the plug on their race-swapped Batgirl film" that saw traditionally white Barbara Gordon, daughter of police commissioner Jim Gordon, cast with Afro-Latina singer Leslie Grace. Grace's biggest role to date had been in Lin-Manuel Miranda's underperforming film In The Heights.
The site Cosmic Book News reported that the plot of Batgirl had radically changed her origin, that she wasn't trained by Batman, and got her start by dressing up as Batgirl at a Halloween party only to gain notoriety by dubiously stopping some terrorists.
There was a portension of Batgirl's failure at this year's San Diego Comic-Con when the movie had no presence in an event known for publicizing all year's upcoming releases.
Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah along with star Grace seemingly were as blindsided as the public when the news of the Batgirl cancellation broke. The director's posted a response on Instagram lamenting the decisions and saying they wished audiences could have seen their film. Grace, in her post, said she was proud of her work.
Arbi and Fallah were previously directors of the Disney+ show "Ms Marvel" which was also criticized for its reliance on woke tropes. Batgirl was written by Christina Hodson who authored Birds of Prey, which some critics accused of outright misandry.
According to the Daily Mail, Batgirl was set to feature a transgender character, Alysia Yeoh, Barbara Gordon's flatmate, played by the trans actor Ivory Aquino.
Test screenings also cited confusion as to the appearance of Michael Keaton's Batman, who appeared in the '89 Batman movie, with the Jim Gordon of the 2017 Justice League, which saw Batman played by Ben Affleck.
Batgirl's cancellation along with Ben Affleck's confirmed appearance in the next Aquaman movie are spurring speculation that the upcoming Ezra Miller starring Flash film will also be shelved. The movie was set to replace Ben Affleck's Batman with Michael Keaton's via the Flash going back in time and altering the DCs multiverse.
However, popular YouTube reviewer Mr H Reviews said in an episode Thursday that Flash was not off "the chopping block" and that Warner Bros is reshuffling things to not bring Michael Keaton back into the DCEU after all. Keaton had filmed an appearance in the Aquaman sequel already along with his role in Batgirl. But it's The Flash that was set to retcon the universe to make those appearances make sense.
With Batgirl's cancellation and Affleck's Batman appearing in Aquaman now and not Keaton, it's fueling the idea that The Flash will be cancelled, especially as star Ezra Miller has been ensconced in scandal for sexually grooming minors.
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