BATGIRL — starring Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah — could possibly get a theatrical release and not simply be an HBO Max streaming movie, according to PUCK.NEWS (Yes, this is a legit, and upstanding news outlet…I checked!).
And I don’t think it’s a bad idea.
There’s an interesting debate going on at Warner Bros. right now. They’ve got BATGIRL, a $70 million-ish film that just finished shooting, and the plan under former WarnerMedia C.E.O. Jason Kilar was to release it directly on HBO Max. Kilar’s singular mission…was to build up the streaming service to compete with Netflix, the north star of the entertainment industry, even if it meant shrinking — sorry, “evolving” — the century-old theatrical business.
But maybe, Toby Emmerich and his Warners team are thinking, now is the time to invest a bit more money into BATGIRL, perhaps up the visual effects and the music budget and the planned marketing spend, and give the movie a theatrical run first? After all, it’s a new day under Warner Bros. Discovery C.E.O. David Zaslav. THE BATMAN…is putting up huge numbers on Max, I’m told, even after generating $750 million in theaters over 45 days (or, perhaps, BECAUSE it generated those numbers). And, more importantly, the Great Netflix Correction of ‘22 is causing Warners and all of Hollywood to rethink the “all-in” strategy for streaming.
To me, this sounds like pure speculation on the author’s part as the overall theme of the article is about Hollywood studios perhaps realizing that the death of movies in theaters/cinemas has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, many of the articles about the article I read just skipped right past the point of the article and went with “BATGIRL WILL DEBUT ON THE BIG SCREEN!” headlines…you know, that how clickbait go nowadays. But whatever. ANYWAY…
It’s just a hunch on my part, but it’s very possible — perhaps even likely — that WB decides to make BATGIRL a big-screen release first before ultimately heading to HBO Max. I mean, it’s kinda a sequel to THE FLASH…well, at least in terms of Michael Keaton’s return as Bruce Wayne/Batman and insertion into the “connected” movies that make up DC on film. Yeah, BATGIRL has a modest, HBO Max budget of $70M-ish. But maybe WB ups it to, say, $90-$100M to add in some more bells and whistles (i.e. better special effects, musical score, etc.) and make it big-screen worthy, if you will.
Of course, we’ll see how it ultimately plays out. Since BATGIRL must come out after THE FLASH‘s release date of June 23, 2022, you gotta figure they’ll wait until the latter part of the year to drop it. I’m not a film release expert at all, but it appears that WB may have a few slots available to them between September and December. Stay tuned!
For the full story, CLICK HERE on any of the links provided…because yeah, when BOF sources an article, we link to it. – Bill “Jett” Ramey