• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

HBO Max quietly removes multiple original movies

ByMichael Manny

Aug 3, 2022
A still of Leslie Grace's Batgirl

HBO Max has quietly removed at least six made-for-streaming movies from its service, Variety confirmed early Wednesday morning. 

The movies in question that have been recently removed are Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse’s Moonshot, Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer’s The Witches, Seth Rogan’s An American Pickle, Melissa McCarthy’s Superintelligence, Locked Down, starring Hathaway, plus Charm City Kings, from Angel Manuel Soto.

This report comes after the news that Warner Bros. Discovery has canceled the upcoming DC film Batgirl, and will not be releasing it on the streaming service or in theaters. The film, starring Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl and directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, was already in post-production. J.K. Simmons and Michael Keaton had returned to reprise their roles as Commissioner Jim Gordan and Batman in the film. Brendan Fraser was starring as Firefly, the movie’s villain. 

The director duo released a statement on Instagram. 

“We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it,” the statement said. “As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.”

Animated movie Scoob! Holiday Haunt has also been shelved by the conglomerate, despite being near finished. It was meant to be a sequel to 2020 reboot Scoob!

The company shared a statement with multiple outlets, including the Hollywood Reporter

“The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max,” the statement said. “Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance. We are incredibly grateful to  the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.”

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who entered the role earlier this year, is reportedly shifting the company’s strategy back towards theatrical releases, rather than building up their streaming library, according to Deadline.