Leslie Grace Responds to ‘Batgirl’ Nix as Fans Torch Warner Bros.

If one were to suggest that Warner Bros.’ move to end “Batgirl” for a cheapo tax scheme was cynical misery, one would not be alone
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Of all the reactions to the $90 million Batgirl movie being unceremoniously cancelled by Warner Bros. Discovery yesterday, star Leslie Grace’s has to be the most above-and-beyond graceful:

“I feel blessed to have worked among absolute greats and forged relationships for a lifetime in the process! To every Batgirl fan – THANK YOU for the love and belief, allowing me to take on the cape and become, as Babs said best, ‘my own damn hero!’ Batgirl for life!”

 

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Warner’s decision continues to roil the entertainment world. Even in Hollywood there are few stories that put this fine a point on just how craven film execs really can be. New CEO David Zaslav, boss of the Warner Bros. Discovery conglomeration, figured there was more money to be recouped in a “tax treatment by writing off the losses of both Batgirl and another movie originally planned for HBO Max, Scoob! Holiday Haunt” rather than in releasing some content he wasn’t excited about, according to Yahoo! Entertainment.

Yet, Zaslav still has not come to any decision regarding the Flash movie, whose star, Ezra Miller, is spectacularly crashing and burning, and has been for some time.

The Batgirl cancellation is happening despite Grace (In the Heights) being the first Afro-Latina actress to play Barbara Gordon/Batgirl on the big screen (Gina Rodriguez played her earlier this summer in the enjoyably noir podcast Batman Unburied); Michael Keaton reprising his role as Batman(!); and the much-touted return to the big screen of Brendan Fraser, who was set to play the film’s villain, Firefly. No Brenassaince for us.

According to the studio, they’re just not interested in movies that go direct to streaming anymore—despite the immense popularity of streaming movies during the pandemic, and the looming threat of a Covidy fall and winter that may well have potential viewers opting to stay home. Again.

Was Batgirl, in fact, bad? Maybe! But Zaslav’s decision to completely discount the work of hundreds—right up to not telling the directors, cast, and crew about the cancellation before the story broke—speaks volumes about how the industry views its workers and its films—ahem, product.

Axing Batgirl may yet prove to be a bad call for the studio’s reputation, as a torrent of backlash suggests.

Curiously, Warner Bros. chose Thursday to have Lady Gaga announce she’ll be co-starring in the Joker sequel—Joker: Folie à Deux—alongside Joaquin Phoenix. While this is truly inspired casting that’s been buzzed about for a while, some might say it’s also a laughably transparent attempt to get the moviegoing world (and especially D.C. fans) to look away from the roast currently blazing away on social media:


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