The notified cancellation of HBO Max‘s Batgirl movie, after it had already been planned, written, shot and largely edited – allegedly already test-screened – has sent shockwaves through the film industry. The reported budget on the film was $75 million, with $15 million more spent on top of that after costs increased due to Covid. And Warner Bros. new management just puts the title on the shelf.
(News reports claims that the main reason is not the film’s quality, but its mid-range budget — yes, it’s crazy that $90 million counts as a mid-range budget, but that’s a discussion for another time — which made it not quite big enough to be released in theaters. It apparently makes more financial sense for the company to bury the film and take a tax deduction than to debut it on the HBO Max streaming service, which was the original plan.)
But Batgirl is far from the only one DC comics project that had been in development at HBO Max. At least one had already been shot: Blue Beetlecontributor Cobra Kai‘s Xolo Maridueña as the title character. Another, was discussed last summer – Jurnee Smollett was expected to reprise her role as Black canaries from Birds of prey film in his own solo film. HBO Max was also in the process of developing several TV shows mined from the recent reboot of Batmanincluding a series about Colin Farrell’s Penguin, and another set in Gotham City’s prison for supercriminals, Arkham Asylum.
So far, there is no confirmation of the status of these projects, which makes some fans extremely nervous. E.g:
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. still hasn’t announced any updates regarding The lightning, which is a massive tentpole movie with a massively controversial star, Ezra Miller, who can’t stay out of trouble. Experts have insisted that the film cost Warners far too much money to simply shelve it. But they’re putting a nearly $100 movie on the shelf Batgirl. So who knows what happens next? Expect more news on these projects one way or another soon.
Actors who turned down DC roles
These big stars could have played some of your favorite DC Comics heroes on screen. But they all said no for one reason or another.