‘Secret’ screenings of cancelled Batgirl movie being held by studio – reports | Batgirl

Warner Bros Discovery are reportedly holding a series of discreet “funeral screenings” for their never-to-be released DC film Batgirl, starring Leslie Grace, Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser.

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed with multiple sources that a select few who worked on the film, including cast, crew and studio executives, would be attending the screenings this week on the Warner Bros lot in California. One source described them as “funeral screenings”, as it is likely the footage will be stored forever and never shown to the public.

Earlier this month, Batgirl became headline news when it was revealed the new Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav had ordered the $90m film to be scrapped entirely, despite filming having been finished. Starring Leslie Grace as the titular superhero Barbara Gordon, JK Simmons as Barbara’s father, Commissioner Gordon, Fraser as the villain Firefly and Keaton returning to his role as Batman, the film was well into postproduction when it was canned, but still had a temporary score and visual effects.

The news spawned a worldwide reaction, with many on social media using the hashtag #releasebatgirl to call on Warner Bros to release the film. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and directors including James Gunn, Kevin Smith and Edgar Wright all voiced their support for the cast and crew who had worked on the film.

The decision to cancel the film was motivated by wider cuts at Warner Bros Discovery after the two companies recently merged, and is seeking to save US$3bn. If the film is not shown, Warner Bros Discovery can take a tax write-down as a money-losing project.

Batgirl has only been shown to members of the public once, in a single test screening.

The Hollywood Reporter reported there was a chance Warner Bros would make “the drastic move of actually destroying its Batgirl footage as a way to demonstrate to the IRS that there will never be any revenue from the project, and thus it should be entitled to the full write-down immediately.”

On Tuesday, in an interview with French outlet Skript, Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said they no longer had any copy of the film, recalling the moment they found they could not longer access the servers that held the footage.

“We were like ‘fucking shit!’” El Arbi said. “All the scenes with Batman in them! Shit!”

El Arbi said it was unlikely they’d have the studio’s support to release it in the future or that there could be an equivalent of “the Snyder cut” – Zack Snyder’s four-hour director’s cut of the DC film Justice League, which added an extra $70m to a $300m budget film.

“It cannot be released in its current state,” said El Arbi. “There’s no VFX … we still had some scenes to shoot. So if one day they want us to release the Batgirl movie, they’d have to give us the means to do it. To finish it properly with our vision.”

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