Cost-cutting executives at WarnerBros. Discovery are reportedly holding “funeral screenings” for the company’s doomed $90 million “Batgirl” movie after nixing the project.
The secret viewing parties will be held for cast and crew members who worked on the film, which was originally slated for release on the “HBO Max” streaming service before its abrupt cancellation, a report said on Thursday.
Once the screenings are complete, “Batgirl” will move on to “an undisclosed afterlife,” sources familiar with the matter told The Hollywood Reporter. The footage will be stored away in a physical or digital vault indefinitely.
The Post has reached out to WarnerBros. Discovery for comment.
The “Batgirl” project is among the recent casualties of a sweeping cost-cutting initiative under WarnerBros. Discovery boss David Zaslav. The CEO wants shave $3 billion in expenses this year across the company’s properties, which also include CNN.
Zaslav addressed the controversial decision to shelve “Batgirl” for a tax writedown during the company’s most recent earnings call. At the time of its cancellation, the film was already in post-production and had cost the company nearly $90 million in expenses.
“We’re not going to launch a movie until it’s ready,” Zaslav said on the earnings call. “We’re not going to launch a movie to make a quarter and we’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it.”
WarnerBros. Discovery held just a single public test screening for “Batgirl.” The movie was mostly complete but had yet to receive final visual effects and other finishing touches.
The firm’s decision to cancel the project for tax purposes could complicate any effort to eventually resurrect the movie as HBO once did with Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” cut.
Some sources told The Hollywood Reporter that existing footage might be destroyed to avoid scrutiny from the feds. But others disputed that idea and noted the company could eventually bring back “Batgirl” by repaying any tax benefit.
“Batgirl” directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah recently revealed they do not have access to any footage from their movie. Meanwhile, the cast reportedly was “humiliated” by WarnerBros. Discovery’s decision.
Zaslav’s budget-conscious maneuvers have drawn some internal criticism, with HBO comedian John Oliver among those who have publicly blasted the moves.
WarnerBros. Discovery is also pushing an overhaul at CNN, recently shuttering the network’s CNN+ streaming service and forcing out left-leaning personality Brian Stelter.