Batgirl getting a theatrical release…in the UK at least

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It appears that we won’t be seeing the film Batgirl until some time in 2023, according to a Warner Bros schedule update.

Because of existing licensing agreements that Warner Bros has in place, we don’t currently get the company’s streaming platform, HBO Max, here in the UK. Whilst that situation is guaranteed to change eventually, whether the current lack of HBO Max is good news or not likely depends on how many streaming services you already find yourself juggling.

There is a silver lining to this predicament though: whilst some movies are still going straight to the streaming platform in the US, over here in the UK, that means that a proper cinema release is more likely.

That seems to be the case with the upcoming Batgirl, which for some time now has been slated for a streaming release in the US.

Batgirl seems to have been in development for a very long time. Joss Whedon, prior to all of the allegations being made against him, was developing the project for a while. He eventually departed, citing an inability to make the right story work, although there was chatter around the time that perhaps DC Films should have been more progressive in its hiring policies. That then seemed to be the case, as Christina Hodson, the writer of Birds of Prey and Bumblebee was brought in to pen the script. Then the film found its directors too, in the form of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the helmers of the most recent entry in the Bad Boys franchise.

One thing we weren’t sure about was the film’s release strategy, especially since Discovery’s merger with Warner Bros has seen the company shift its focus back towards cinematic releases. What this all means for the US release of Batgirl is still unclear, but Batgirl Film News found an update from Warner Bros UK which suggests that we won’t be seeing the film until 2023.

The levity in Hodson’s previous scripts is one of the standout features of her storytelling, and having just helmed a comedy-flavoured action movie themselves, El Arbi and Fallah should be able to ensure that the humour and lightness in the story transfer well onto the screen. It sounds like we’ll hopefully be getting a version of Batgirl that resembles the fun (and critically lauded) comic book run that Gail Simone penned from 2011 onwards. We do know that the film will feature the Barbara Gordon version of the character, just like Simone’s books did. It all sounds fun, not to mention the fact that Michael Keaton is set to reprise his role as the 1989 version of Batman.

In fact, that appearance could well explain the 2023 release schedule, with Keaton’s character set to be reintroduced in The Flash, which has been delayed several times and isn’t due to appear until next year. For continuity’s sake, Keaton has to really appear in that film first, perhaps explaining this delay. Still, the fact we’ll get to see Batgirl in cinemas is good news. We’ll let you know more on this one as we hear it.

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