‘I saw the movie’: DC Studios boss Peter Safran shares blunt verdict on ‘unreleasable’ Batgirl film
DC’s Peter Safran has defended the decision to shelve Batgirl despite the fact filming had been completed.
The Warner Bros film, which cost $90m (£73.7m) to shoot, had its release cancelled in August 2022.
Lead star Leslie Grace, who played Barbara Gordon, and the film’s directors, Bad Boys for Life’s Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, expressed their shock at the news in respective statements.
At the time, several rumours circulated surrounding the decision, with an official statement claiming it reflected the “leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max”.
CEO David Zaslav said of the decision: “We’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it.”
Since then, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn and Safran were hired to overhaul DC’s release slate, and, on Tuesday (31 January), they broached the subject of Batgirl, saying that the character will “inevitably” be featured in a future film.
However, Safran is adamant this particular outing, despite beig completed, was not fit to be released theatrically.
“I saw the movie, and there are a lot of incredibly talented people in front of and behind the camera on that film, but that film was not releasable, and it happens sometimes,” he told press, including Variety.
“I actually think that Zaslav and the team made a very bold and courageous decision to cancel it because it would have hurt DC. It would have hurt those people involved.”
These comments seemingly support The New York Post’s claims that Batgirl was scrapped after being called “irredeemable” following negative test screenings.
Michael Keaton was set to reprise the role of Bruce Wayne in the film, having played the character in Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns. It also starred Brendan Fraser in a villainous role.
Gunn and Safran have announced a list of forthcoming DC projects, including a new Superman and Batman film.