'Batgirl' Film Shelved After Poor Reviews

DC Comics film Batgirl has been shelved by Warner Bros after receiving poor reviews in test screenings, according to US media.

The movie, which reportedly cost up to $100m (£82m) to make, ranks among the most expensive films to have been pulled while in post-production.

It was due to star Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon, or Batgirl, and J.K. Simmons as her father Commissioner Jim Gordon.

Michael Keaton was due to reprise his role as Batman and Brendan Fraser would have appeared as the villain Firefly.

The movie was due to appear on the HBO Max streaming service, with reports suggesting in April that Warner Bros was also considering releasing the film in cinemas.

However, it has been shelved altogether following negative feedback at a test screening which had been taking place in anticipation of a late 2022 debut, according to the New York Post.

"They think an unspeakable Batgirl is going to be irredeemable," a source told the paper.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros insiders are insisting the decision to axe the film was not driven by quality, but the desire for the studio's slate of DC films to be at a blockbuster scale, according to the US entertainment news website Variety.

The studio has made a corporate decision to refocus its priorities back on cinematic features, Variety adds.

It comes after the film, which was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, didn't receive a mention at DC's Comic-Con panel in San Diego, California, in July.

The much-publicized event is designed to boost exposure for such productions.

Grace told Variety in April that she had preliminary discussions with El Arbi and Fallah about a potential sequel for Batgirl.

"There's crazy stunts, crazy drops," Grace said of the film. "She's a biker chick, so you're going to see her do a bunch of badassery… There were a lot of long days, but it was so worth it."

The decision to shelve Batgirl comes as Warner Bros is deciding what to do with DC adaption The Flash, which was due to be released in cinemas in 2023.

The film's star Ezra Miller has faced repeated allegations of abuse and misconduct.