It looks like Batgirl could be headed to theaters even though it was though that this would be solely an HBO Max streaming release.
The release of Warner Bros highly anticipated Batgirl movie has been delayed until 2023 as the movie may now debut in cinemas instead. The superhero offering was originally advertised as an HBO Max exclusive. But since the streaming service isn’t available outside the United States, the studio seems to be preparing for a theatrical release in several international territories. The news comes from an updated U.K release schedule which lists the film under a section called “2023 Theatrical Releases.”
Previous reports also suggest that Warner Bros has been rethinking its release strategy for a while. Following the merger with Discovery, the studio considered abandoning Batgirl’s HBO Max exclusive release entirely. Even in the United States. At the time, movie bosses even debated investing more money in the project to enhance the post-production budget and marketing spend to allow for a cinematic release. The motivation stems from Netflix losing 200k subscribers in the first three months of the year which prompted Hollywood to adjust its approach to streaming.
Batgirl was filmed under a $70 million production budget long before the Warner Bros and Discovery merger. The original plan under former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar was to release the mid-budget DC Extended Universe film directly to HBO Max, with the hope of competing with streaming giant Netflix. While audiences might have to wait a little longer to see Leslie Grace make her debut as the Dark Knight’s ally, it will definitely be worth it. According to GameRant, a recent test screening of the superhero received positive feedback, especially toward Michael Keaton’s Batman.
Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah from a script by Christina Hodson, Batgirl will focus on Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon, with Gail Simone’s The New 52 Batgirl comics used as a starting point for the story. Leslie Grace was cast as the titular character after beating Isabela Merced and Zoey Deutch for the role. The studio was already impressed with the actress’s In the Heights breakout role, and her audition sealed the deal.
Starring alongside Grace is Michael Keaton as Batman, while J.K. Simmons returns as Commissioner James Gordon. Brendan Fraser appears as Firefly – the film’s main antagonist. The role is the actor’s second major gig for DC. He also starred as Cliff Steele/Robotman on the HBO Max original series Doom Patrol. Batgirl also features Jacob Scipio as Anthony Bressi and Ivory Aquino as Alysia Yeoh. Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, and Ethan Kai have been cast in undisclosed roles, according to CBR.
Interesting, Batgirl isn’t the only movie with an altered release plan. Fellow DCEU project, Blue Beetle is also moving to theaters for its debut. The film is directed by Angel Manuel Soto from a script by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer. Starring Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle, the film will hit the big screen on August 18, 2023. The story begins when he discovers the Blue Beetle scarab half-buried in a disused lot. Curious about what it might be, he takes it home with him.