While an overhauled DC Universe is on the way from new studio bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran, many comic book movie fans are still mourning the loss of the old regime’s “Batgirl.” The project, from directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, was intended to be an HBO Max original but was axed in post-production in part so that Warner Bros.-Discovery could take a tax write-off on it.
“Batgirl” will never see the light of day, but information about the completely-filmed superhero movie continues to trickle out. Leslie Grace, who played the eponymous hero, recently told Collider that she filmed numerous action scenes opposite Brendan Fraser, who starred as the villainous Firefly.
“I truly had one of [the best] experiences with Batgirl,” Grace said. “In terms of the experience of shooting, we were all so excited for people to see a lot of the action, a lot of the practical shots we did with fire. Our movie was full of practical fire, which was really hard to shoot. Brendan [Fraser], our villain, our Firefly, he was just so outstanding…I felt so blessed to have him as my sparring partner. We had so many amazing action scenes together where we were beating each other up, but hugging in between takes because he’s just so sweet.”
Grace continued, “I would’ve loved people to see those moments, but you know what? You have the experience, and you keep on rolling, and I feel so blessed, all in all, that I have those memories and hopefully maybe in some future, some clips will arise and people will get to enjoy a little bit of it. But for now, we’ll just have to keep it going as it going in comic folklore, I guess, with all of our memories and our stories while we can.”
Warner Bros. announced Aug. 2, 2022 that it would not be releasing the $90 million “Batgirl” in theaters or on its HBO Max streamer, despite the movie being fully shot and in post-production. Sources told Variety the decision to kill “Batgirl” had nothing to do with the quality of the film. Instead, the studio intended to fulfill a desire for its slate of DC movies to be at a blockbuster scale, which “Batgirl” was not, as it was originally conceived specifically for HBO Max.
“Batgirl” directors Arbi and Fallah issued their own statement a day after the film got shelved, saying they were “saddened and shocked” by the news. The filmmaking duo is best known for helming “Bad Boys for Life” and episodes of “Ms. Marvel.”
“We still can’t believe it,” the directing duo wrote in a statement. “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.”
“It was a privilege and an honor to have been a part of the DCEU, even if it was for a brief moment,” their statement added. “Batgirl For Life.”
Grace had spoken enthusiastically about “Batgirl” prior to the movie being canned. The actor told Variety in April that she even had preliminary discussions with El Arbi and Fallah about what a sequel “could be.”