Warner Bros. Discovery will be holding a series of discreet “funeral screenings” for the film that never got released, Batgirl, reportedly.
As confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter through multiple sources, a few selected crew members, cast, and studio executives will be attending the said screenings this week at the Warner Bros studios in California. One of the sources described the event as “funeral screenings” for the movie has been shelved and won’t ever be shown to the public.
Cast and crew for Batgirl will get to watch Batgirl before it’s locked away in the DC vault, never to see the light of the day:
Individuals who worked on #Batgirl are being allowed to screen the film on Warner Bros' lot before it's locked away in the vault forever
— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) August 24, 2022
Earlier this month, Batgirl made headlines when Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav revealed that the nearly completed $90M budgeted movie would not be released. The film starred Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon, JK Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly, and Michael Keaton, who would’ve reprised his role as Batman.
The movie was scrapped as it was halfway into post-production; a temporary score and visual effects were all in place.
Needless to say, the news spread like wildfire, and the entire social media was at Warner Bros. Discovery’s back to #ReleaseBatgirl. Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige and directors like James Gunn, Edgar Wright, and Kevin Smith all supported the hard work of the cast and crew who worked for Batgirl.
The cancellation of Batgirl took place in order to make wider cuts at Warner Bros. Discovery since the merger of the two companies, and the company’s intentions to save up to $3 Billion. As long as the film isn’t released, Warner Bros. Discovery can utilize a tax write-down to put Batgirl as a money-losing project.
Although Warner Bros. Discovery revealed that they intend on pursuing a ten-year timeline of projects, much like that of Marvel Studios, they haven’t released a slate yet.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, there was a slight chance Warner Bros would make “the drastic move of actually destroying its Batgirl footage as a way to demonstrate to the IRS that there will never be any revenue from the project, and thus it should be entitled to the full write-down immediately.”
On Tuesday, directors of Batgirl Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah gave an interview to a French outlet Skript, shared they didn’t have any copy of the film, and recalled how they freaked out the moment they realized they couldn’t access any servers that had the footage stored within.
Bilall Fallah tried his best to salvage the footage; however, it was too late.
#Batgirl director Bilall Fallah tried to salvage footage when he learned it was canceled
"I went on the server … Everything was gone … We were [like] … 'Fucking shit'… We did not [even] keep [the scenes] with Batman in it”
(via Skript_FR) pic.twitter.com/DJ8zus7eAE
— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) August 23, 2022
El Arbi said, “We were like ‘fucking shit! All the scenes with Batman in them! Shit!’”
He also said it’s pretty unlikely they’d have Warner Bros. Discovery’s support to release the film later on in the future or release it like ‘The Snyder’s Cut’ of DC’s Justice League, which was a Director’s cut of four hours long. It had added another $70m to a $300m budget film.
According to El Arbi:
“It cannot be released in its current state. There’s no VFX … we still had some scenes to shoot. So if one day they want us to release the Batgirl movie, they’d have to give us the means to do it. To finish it properly with our vision.”
The duo released a video expressing their dismay and heartbreak over the loss of Batgirl and how the public will never get to see the hard work they put in:
Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah have released a video, saying once they found out ‘BATGIRL’ was cancelled, they tried to get a copy of the footage but were already blocked from the servers
They add that the movie was far from done with minimal VFX completed. pic.twitter.com/XMAfvrsW6Y
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) August 24, 2022
Here’s to toasting the Batgirl one last time through the “Funeral Screenings.”