The New York Post broke the news that Warner Bros. won’t release Batgirl on HBO Max or theaters, shelving it definitively. The film, which starred Leslie Grace as the titular hero, would’ve featured the long-awaited return of Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader and Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly.
Batgirl isn’t the only film to go unreleased. Although it’s uncommon for studios to cancel projects near completion, it’s not unheard of exactly. Indeed, many other films remain unreleased to this day, becoming anomalies in a business famous for trying to squeeze every last dime out of their investments.
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Academy Award winner Roger Avary intended Glitterati to act as a quasi follow-up to his 2002 movie The Rules of Attraction, based on Brett Easton Ellis’ novel of the same name. Glitterati stars Kip Purdue as Victor Ward, reprising his role from The Rules of Attraction, and was entirely comprised of footage shot for the European sequence in the 2002 film.
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Glitterati remains unreleased because of numerous concerns. The story saw Ward becoming involved in a terrorist plot in Florence and used song lyrics to tell its story. In an interview with The A.V. Club, Ellis declared that Glitterati would never be seen; he wasn’t even sure “they got permission from a lot of people in it.” Avary’s manslaughter charge in 2008 added further complications to Glitterati, confirming Ellis’ assessments that it will likely never see the light of day.
The Creature Of The Sunny Side Up Trailer Park (2004)
Christopher Coppola, brother of the legendary camp actor Nicolas Cage and nephew to the iconic Francis Ford Coppola, directed this 2004 unreleased comedy. The Creature Of The Sunny Side Up Trailer Park followed two racist characters, a white man and a Black man, who co-inherit a trailer park and join forces to fight a monster created by a cult.
Despite its questionable premise, The Creature Of The Sunny Side Up Trailer Park received positive notices upon its screening at the San Francisco Horror Film Festival, where it premiered under Bloodhead. Variety even gave it somewhat of a positive review; however, it correctly predicted it would be too confusing and “unclassifiable” to secure distribution. In 2014, Fandor acquired the film’s license and retitled it Cult of the Evil Geezers.
Big Bug Man (2006)
The beloved Brendan Fraser is currently having a comeback after spending most of the late noughties and early 2010s, largely MIA. The actor focused mainly on family films during the first half of the 2000s, including an unreleased animated project called Big Bug Man. The plot followed a worker who gained powers after being bitten by several insects.
Big Bug Man is notorious for being legendary actor Marlon Brando’s last film work. Brando voiced the film’s villain, Mrs. Sour; according to the actor’s biographer, Susan L. Mizruchi, Brando — famous for his commitment to method acting — wore a wig, dress, make-up, and gloves to voice the character. Alas, Big Bug Man didn’t come out and remains unreleased.
Black Water Transit (2009)
Best known for directing American History X, Tony Kaye helmed 2009’s Black Water Transit. The film, which stars Laurence Fishburne and Karl Urban, follows a shipping executive who finds himself in danger after agreeing to help take down a smuggler. Brittany Snow and Aisha Tyler co-star.
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Although mostly shot in 2009, Black Water Transit remained unfinished as of 2011, with Kaye declaring the movie they shot was “not the film (the producers) expected.” The film became embroiled in a sea of controversy due to producer David Bergstein’s numerous legal troubles, culminating in his conviction for defrauding investors in 2018.
Killing Winston Jones (2014)
Directed by Joel David Moore — perhaps best known for his role in James Cameron’s Avatar –, Killing Winston Jones is a black comedy about two gym teachers trying to get their names on the gym that used to employ them. It stars an ensemble cast including Danny Glover, Jon Heder, Richard Dreyfuss, and Lesley-Ann Brandt.
Ultimately shot in 2012, Killing Winston Jones was originally intended for a 2014 premiere but remains unreleased. There doesn’t seem to be any drama behind its lack of release; however, there has been no news about it since 2014, and Moore doesn’t seem to consider it a priority.
Bill Cosby 77 (2014)
In the modern era of streaming, stand-up specials are among the most popular pieces of content. Netflix has carved a successful niche for itself, giving stand-up comedians the platform to present their art. In 2014, they intended to do the same for disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, premiering a stand-up special titled Bill Cosby 77.
The special would never see the light of day. Netflix canceled its original premiere as numerous accusations against Cosby came out. Netflix kept the special on hold for more than a year, eventually announcing in 2015 that it had no plans to ever release it. Questioned about the decision, Netflix’s Chief Ted Sarandos declared he didn’t think it would be “appropriate to release that.”
Those Who Wander (2015)
Bonnie Wright rose to prominence playing Ginny, arguably the most heroic Weasley sibling in Harry Potter. After the last film, Wright took on the leading role in the coming-of-age drama Those Who Wander, written and directed by Abigail Ann Schwarz and funded through Kickstarter. The plot follows a 19-year-old who goes on a road trip with several friends.
Schwarz screened the film at the Ridgefield Playhouse in 2015, in a private event meant only for the investors. The film never received an official release and remains unseen. Not many details are known about the film, and Schwarz’s IMDb page lists it as being in post-production.
I Love You, Daddy (2017)
Written, directed, and starring Louis C.K., I Love You, Daddy followed a television writer and director whose young daughter gets seduced by a much older filmmaker. Chloë Grace Moretz, John Malkovich, Rose Byrne, Edie Falco, and Charlie Day co-starred.
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I Love You, Daddy premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Scheduled for a wide release in November of that year, the film got postponed shortly before The New York Times published a story in which five women accused C.K. of sexual misconduct. C.K. moved to purchase the distribution rights from the original distributing company, The Orchard; however, Moretz stated in an interview with The New York Times that she hoped the film wouldn’t get released, stating it wasn’t “a story that needs to be told in this day and age.”
Announced in June 2021 as an HBO Max original, Batgirl stars Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon. Joining her were veterans like J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon and Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly. Most prominent was the return of Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, a casting announcement that excited fans considerably.
On August 2nd, 2022, The New York Post broke the story that Warner Bros. would not release the film; a few hours later, nearly every major trade confirmed it. The reasons for its cancellation remain unclear, although Variety posted a damning article stating Batgirl’s cancellation was due to the company deciding writing it off for a tax break would be the most “financially sound” way to recoup its costs. Future news will surely come out in the coming days, but Batgirl’s cancellation was a significant shake-up for Hollywood, leaving DC Comics’ future under Warner Bros. Discovery uncertain.
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About The Author
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David is a twenty-eight-year-old Mexican writer and reader. Having studied Marketing in school, he spent three years working a nine-to-five desk job before deciding to pursue a writing career. He now works as a Senior Writer in ScreenRant and does some more freelancing job, talking about the entertainment business he so loves. Currently, he’s also writing his second novel while actively working to get his first one published.
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