‘Batgirl’ Star Says Movie Would’ve Been Epic if Bros at Warner Didn’t Kill It

Finally, Batgirl herself joins legions of fans in suggesting that Warner Bros. was capricious, panicky and stupid for killing the flick

Leslie Grace, star of the much-anticipated Batgirl film that was canceled and allegedly buried forever by execs at Warner Bros. for tax purposes, says the movie was anything but the train wreck the studio has tried to peddle it as in various iterations of their explanation for killing it.

Grace, who would have been the first Latina to wear the Batgirl suit in a live-action production, tells Variety she was not shown a final cut of the film, which the studio decided to never release in any form in a controversial penny-pinching move last year. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav slammed Batgirl‘s quality at the time, saying “we’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it.” The latest story quotes DC Studios head Peter Safran as saying the film was “not releasable,” and, reportedly, early test screenings were not great.

But Grace says now that “the film that I got to see — the scenes that were there — was incredible. There was definitely potential for a good film, in my opinion.”

She further claims that the Batgirl team had been expecting to receive funding from the studio to make necessary tweaks. “When we were expecting XYZ amount of support and money to expand scenes — to do pickup shots and those kinds of things — that was a gut punch. But then we learned that it was in the interest of writing down some debt? That part really stung.”

Grace also reveals that nobody bothered to tell her the news that the studio had axed the film—she read it in the New York Post. “I found out like the rest of you. And then my phone just started blowing up.”

Grace took the high road at the time, and she continues to approach the WB debacle from a circumspect point of view, not specifically calling the studio heads total idiots: “I tend to be a very optimistic and positive person in these types of circumstances, and I just really leaned on the beauty of the idea that I got to have this experience in my life. Even though I would’ve loved to share that with the rest of the world, nothing can take that experience away from us.”

Her co-star, national treasure Brendan Fraser—who played villain Firefly in the junked flick—spoke more freely about what Warners Bros’ decision really cost moviegoers. “What I find most lamentable is that now a whole generation of little girls are going to have to wait longer to see a Batgirl and say, ‘Hey, she looks like me.’ That makes me sad. I know how good she was. And I know what this would mean to so many people,” he said.

The Oscar-nominated Fraser, clearly a mensch of a castmate, gave Grace a wrap present she now views with extra meaning: a charm necklace bearing a bell and a pair of dice. “The card said a lot of really sweet things, but he basically said, ‘I give you this necklace because in this business you gotta have a little luck. So ring your bell and never stop.’ It was just like, Whoa. And after all this, it’s had so much meaning.”

Meanwhile, the studio dropped the first full trailer for The Flash during last night’s Super Bowl. Its troubled star, Ezra Miller, is still reportedly undergoing mental health rehab in the wake of a lengthy pattern of violent, abusive, illegal, menacing, cult-leader behavior. Just two weeks ago, DC Studios chief Peter Safran stated that the (only in public) nonbinary actor “is completely committed to their recovery, and we are fully supportive of that journey that they’re on right now.” So, here’s hoping Safran bulked up on insurance, because we would not love to see that claim come back to haunt him in a career-destroying way.

Some, including director Kevin Smith, have noted that it’s “an incredibly bad look” for the studio to rally behind the problematic Miller while tossing aside Grace in Batgirl. 

Others have pointed to the excitement on social media around Michael Keaton’s appearance as Batman in the Flash trailer—a part he was initially set to reprise in Batgirl. Could he be the key to an eventual release? As one astute observer put it:

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