Report: Studio Holding 'Funeral' Screenings of Batgirl

But the public will probably never see almost-completed canceled project
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2022 1:37 PM CDT
Report: Studio Holding 'Funeral' Screenings' of Batgirl
Leslie Grace arrives at a screening of "In the Heights" during the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival on June 4, 2021.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

The Warner Bros. lot in California has been hosting secret screenings of a movie the public will probably never see, sources tell the Hollywood Reporter. "Funeral screenings" of Batgirl are being held for cast and crew members before the movie, which was canceled when it was deep into post-production, is locked away, the sources say. Warner Bros. Discovery announced earlier this month that the $90 million film, which stars Leslie Grace in the title role and Michael Keaton as Batman, will never be released. Only one public test screening was ever held.

The studio plans to take a tax write-down on the project, which would normally be claimed over a number of years, but some of the Reporter's sources suspect the company might actually destroy the footage to persuade the IRS that it will never make any money from the movie and should immediately be granted the full write-down. Warner Bros. Discovery had planned to release Batgirl on the HBO Max streaming service, but new CEO David Zaslav decided to scrap it and focus on theatrical releases. The Reporter's sources say a "funeral screening" was held last week for Scoob! Holiday Haunt, another project axed when it was almost completed.

Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have said they were "saddened and shocked" by the decision to scrap the film. Despite calls on social media for the studio to #releasebatgirl, there appears to be little chance of a future release or the equivalent of the Justice League "Snyder cut," the Guardian reports. The directors told French outlet Skript this week that they no longer have access to footage. "It cannot be released in its current state," said El Arbi. He said the movie still needs visual effects, and "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." (More Batgirl stories.)

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