Made in Rs 800 crore, this film was never released, even on OTT, producer deleted all copies from everywhere because…

Made in Rs 800 crore, this film was never released, even on OTT, producer deleted all copies from everywhere because…

This film cost Rs 800 crore to make but was never released and deleted from everywhere

You would imagine that if a film studio spends Rs 800 crore on a film, they would go all out in trying to promote it and make sure it gets the biggest and widest release possible. But in reality, just two years ago, one superhero film with this massive budget was not cancelled from theatrical release but not allowed to release on OTT as well. The film and crew were left heartbroken when the film was ‘deleted’ from everywhere.

The Rs 800-crore that never released

Batgirl, the DC superhero, was given her own feature film as part of the now-abandoned DC Extended Universe in 2017. Work on the film first began with director Joss Whedon attached to it but he left the project. A new script was written in 2018 and director duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah came on board to helm the film. Leslie Grace was cast in the titular character and the film managed a casting coup when Michael Keaton agreed to return as Batman after almost 30 years. The cast also included big names like JK Simmons, Jacob Scipio, and Brendan Fraser. Filming took place between 2021 and 2022 and production costs were around $70-90 million (Rs 550-750 crore) with some additional amount in post-production. It was estimated that the film cost just under $100 million (Rs 800 crore) to Warner Bros Discovery. Initially, the film was slated to release on HBO Max (now called Max), the streaming service owned by the studio. However, in August 2022, the streamer and the studio decided that the film was not fit to release even there.

batgirl looks ahead cropped 1 - Made in Rs 800 crore, this film was never released, even on OTT, producer deleted all copies from everywhere because...


Leslie Grace in and as Batgirl

Why was Batgirl cancelled?

Warner Bros Discovery announced that Batgirl will not release theatrically or on streaming despite announcing plans for it earlier in 2022. Initially, the reason given for it was that it did not fall in live with DC’s new vision of ‘big theatrical event films’. Some sources also claimed that the test viewings were lukewarm. Collider’s sources described the film as “a huge disappointment [that] looked cheap in comparison to other films”. Following this, as per reports, WBD executives did not feel it was feasible to spend more money on promotions for such a product. However, the film’s directors countered saying test viewings were positive. Some reports claimed that the real reason for Batgirl’s cancellation was because the studio wanted to write the film off for a tax break, which meant that they would save money in taxes if the film never released.

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Leslie Grace and Michael Keaton in costume on Batgirl set

How Batgirl was deleted from WBD servers and ceased to exist

Following the announcement of the cancellation, directors El Arbi and Fallah attempted to log into the Warner Bros. servers to capture some of the footage on their cellphones, but they were unable to. It was reported in September 2022 that the film had been deleted from the WBD servers and no copy of it existed anywhere anymore. Both directors expressed hurt at the development, as did lead actress Leslie Grace.

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