Why Warner Bros. Killed ‘Batgirl': Taxes, Cutting Losses and a Strategic Pivot

The DC superhero film intended for HBO Max won’t be released theatrically or on streaming

Warner Bros. Discovery didn’t just shelve “Batgirl,” a nearly completed film that cost roughly $90 million; the project is effectively dead and won’t go to theaters or to streaming. So what gives? While there’s a big strategic play here and interest in protecting the future of the DC brand, the shocking move also has to do with lowering the studio’s tax burden and cutting their losses to improve earnings this year.

A company insider told TheWrap that the studio expects that by not releasing the movie at all, they’ll benefit from a tax treatment by writing off the losses of both “Batgirl” and another movie originally planned for HBO Max, “Scoob! Holiday Haunt.” While these circumstances are rare, it’s not uncommon for companies to write off losses in general.

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Brian Welk

Film Reporter • brian.welk@thewrap.com • Twitter: @brianwelk