When the Batgirl news was first reported, it was via the New York Post. The Post’s entertainment critic, Johnny Oleksinski, tells NPR that his source blamed poor audience response to a rough cut screening.
“It did test poorly,” Oleksinski asserts. “It tested in the 30s, which as anybody knows, if you test in the 30s, you fail math and have to redo eighth grade. Batgirl is a lousy movie.”
But, Oleksinski adds, there are plenty of lousy movies that make it to theaters.
“We have to acknowledge that Val Kilmer in a nippled Batsuit by Joel Schumacher made it to our screens,” he notes. “Over at Universal, the movie Cats made it to our screens. They weren’t shelved and they were probably very aware they weren’t going to make any money, and lose a bunch of money, and be embarrassed. So this really just comes as a shock. I don’t think you could find a precedent for this having happened before.”
Variety’s Adam B. Vary says that the fate of Batgirl is strikingly different than that of the upcoming film The Flash, which is slated for release in June 2023. Miller (who uses the pronouns they/them) is currently facing a slew of legal issues: they were arrested twice in Hawaii earlier this year on charges of assault, disorderly conduct and harassment. Parents of an 18-year-old in North Dakota have also filed legal claims saying that Miller groomed and controlled their child for several years.
“To date,” Vary observes, “Ezra Miller has not spoken publicly about any of the allegations, and Warner Brothers has also not really made any public declarations about it. But this is a problem without precedent — and a lot of DC Comics fans and superhero fans are wondering what Warner Brothers is going to do here. Then along comes this Batgirl decision — a lot of people are wondering whether they could do the same thing for The Flash.”
At the same time that Batgirl met the ax, Warner Bros. Discovery also announced that the movie Scoob!: Holiday Haunt has also been shelved. It was a sequel to the 2020 film Scoob!, of which Variety wrote in its review: “These are trying times, and parents may be grateful to have a virtual babysitter to distract their kids for 90 minutes, in which case, Scoob! is surely more effective than sitting them in front of the fish tank.”
Meanwhile, on an Instagram story Wednesday, Leslie Grace posted a clip of someone lip-syncing. The song: Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”