Warner Bros. issues official statement revealing why Batgirl has been canceled

A Batgirl sighting in Glasgow
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Warner Bros. has issued an official statement on the cancelation of Batgirl, which has been scrapped despite having already completed filming. The DCEU movie was set to star In the Heights actor Leslie Grace as the titular hero, with Michael Keaton reprising his Batman role. Batgirl wasn't the only film on the chopping block, either, with Scoob! Holiday Haunt also canceled entirely. 

"The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership's strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max," reads the statement, per Deadline. "Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance. We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future."

According to Deadline's report, the cancelation comes down to a rejection of former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar's strategy, which prioritized streaming and HBO Max. The publication notes that other movies aren't expected to be scrapped, because Batgirl and Scoob! are said to have been canceled partly due to a "purchase accounting" opportunity that expires this month. 

Deadline adds that Batgirl was set to introduce characters that Warner Bros. wanted to keep for DC's theatrical releases The Flash and Aquaman 2, and the film wasn't conceived as competitive big-screen blockbuster, having been commissioned for HBO Max. Instead of spending more for a theatrical release, Warner Bros. felt it made more sense to pull the plug.

Another trade website, Variety, adds that the cancelations of Batgirl and Scoob were both partly down to a tax write-down. "Several sources say it will almost certainly take a tax write-down on both films, seen internally as the most financially sound way to recoup the costs," the publication states. 

Essentially, because both movies were commissioned before Warner Bros. merged with Discovery, the newly formed company Warner Bros. Discovery can receive tax benefits if it doesn't use materials from pre-merger for profit. The company had until mid-August to make a decision on the write-downs, hence why the decision was made briskly. In other words, a lot of this came down to money rather than talent, as Warner is reportedly looking to work with the directors and leading actors again.

Brendan Fraser was set to appear in Batgirl as the villain Firefly, while J.K. Simmons was also back as Jim Gordon. 

The next DC project to hit the big screen is Black Adam, which arrives this October 21. In the meantime, check out our guide to all the upcoming superhero movies flying your way through 2022 and beyond. 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.