The new Batgirl movie has been shelved by Warner Bros. Discovery months ahead of its planned release.
It was reportedly budgeted for over $70m (£58m) and was scheduled to be shown in theatres and on streaming service HBO Max later this year.
The New York Post reported that the decision was made after a poor response to the test screening. However, Warner Bros. said the move reflects its “strategic leadership change”.
The production was filmed entirely in Glasgow, in a move council chiefs declared a “huge deal” for the city.
It was based on the DC Comics character Barbara Gordon – or Batgirl – played by Leslie Grace. She appeared alongside Michael Keaton as Batman, Brendan Fraser as villain Firefly and JK Simmons as Commissioner James Gordon.
Warner Bros also confirmed that Scoob! Holiday Haunt would be scrapped. A spokesperson for the firm said: “The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max.
“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 shortly.” The unusual move follows a change in leadership after Warner Bros merged with Discovery in May 2021, with David Zaslav its new CEO.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Zaslav has prioritised cost-cutting measures and refocusing the company on creating theatrical films rather than projects for streaming.
Batgirl received £150,000 from Glasgow City Council as an incentive to film in the area – at the time, Screen Scotland said any production given public money was expected to hire locally.
Filming began at the end of 2021 and continued until March.
Councillor Ruairi Kelly, who chairs Glasgow City Council’s neighbourhoods, housing and public realm committee, told the BBC at the time: “It’s a huge deal for the city.
“We’ve had some major productions here but this is the first time a whole film has been based in the city, from the start till finish.”