The entertainment landscape was shocked last month after the news that Warner Bros. Discovery would be shelving its Batgirl movie, instead of placing it in theaters or on HBO Max. The project, which had originally been conceived for the HBO Max streaming service, had a lot of elements that excited fans — including beloved actor Brendan Fraser being cast as the film's villain, Garfield Lynns / Firefly. In a recent interview with Variety, Fraser addressed the cancellation, even directly name-dropping Warner Bros. CFO Gunnar Weidenfels, who recently argued that the media coverage of the decision had been "blown out of proportion."
Brendan Fraser says Warner Bros. decision to axe #Batgirl was "disappointing": "The fans really wanted to see this film made. Leslie Grace is a dynamo." https://t.co/hZNVdqyonR #TIFF pic.twitter.com/d2LTGhdDiA— Variety (@Variety) September 12, 2022
"Well, stop talking about it, because Gunnar Weidenfels does not want people thinking about this. That's what I read," Fraser joked, before explaining, "It's disappointing. The fans really wanted to see this film made. I was there — Leslie Grace is a dynamo. She's like a power q-tip. She's just goes for it. She looks great in the outfit. The movie itself was shot and conceived for a smaller screen. In this age that we've come out of now, between streaming service vs theatrical, it wound up being the canary in the coal mine. So, what can we learn from this? Work with trusted filmmakers."
Batgirl was directed by Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi, with a script written by Christina Hodson. The film would've starred Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl, with JK Simmons reprising his role as Commissioner James Gordon, and Michael Keaton reprising his role as Bruce Wayne / Batman. Also joining the cast was Ivory Aquino as Alysia Yeoh, and Jacob Scipio, Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, and Ethan Kai cast in currently-unknown roles.
"The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership's strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max," a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement when the cancellation was first confirmed. "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."
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