Leslie Grace thinks Warner Bros. isn't being honest about the fate of Batgirl, poking holes in the studio's reasoning for cancelling the completed film.
With hindsight being 20/20, now the public knows that Leslie Grace’s Batgirl film being cancelled was the canary in the Warner Bros. Discovery coalmine. Since the completed film was cancelled for tax write-offs, the entire DC Universe has been canceled and reset, while vast swaths of content have been pulled from HBO Max. In an interview with Variety, the star of the axed film explains she’s still in shock over the cancelation and remains proud of the film created by the cast and crew.
Leslie Grace explains, in reference to the infamous test screenings that decided the fate of Batgirl, “I got to see the film as far as it got to; the film wasn’t complete by the time that it was tested. There were a bunch of scenes that weren’t even in there.” Any film, from The Shawshank Redemption to Step-Brothers, is going to look much worse in test screenings with key scenes missing.
In regards to the test screening cut, Leslie Grace goes against the Warner Bros. Discovery and strongly takes the exact opposite stance on Batgirl: “But 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.” Given that, allegedly, test audiences hated the film so much it would have been embarrassing for the company to release, Grace’s comments stand out in stark contrast.
Another reason for canceling the movie was that it just didn’t fit the vision of what the studio wanted for the DC Universe. Leslie Grace again has something to say on that topic, mentioning that she met with Film Group CEOs Pam Abdy and Mike Luca, explaining “They weren’t really specific on anything creative in terms of what they felt about the film and how it would’ve hurt DC creatively.” In retrospect, Grace is right on this point, as Batgirl was filmed at a time when no one in Warner Bros. had a vision for the DC Universe.
While defending the film, by essentially saying that the studio heads at the time weren’t telling the complete truth about the movie, Leslie Grace did admit that the Batgirl shoot had a few issues. According to the star, half of the filming was done in Scotland at night where it frequently rains, making things hard on the cast and crew. Despite the weather-related setback in a film centered on Brendan Fraser‘s pyromaniac villain Firefly, Grace says the incredible crew pulled it together and made something she’s proud of.
To end things on a good note, there is a chance that Leslie Grace will get to play Batgirl in future films. Matt Reeve’s The Batman universe has been deemed part of the DC Universe Elseworlds, so it has no bearing on the mainline films. Coming in as Batgirl in The Batman 2, which Reeves has said he wants to include more of the extended Bat-family in it, would be incredible.
Both Leslie Grace and Brendan Fraser have emerged from the flaming wreckage of Warner Bros. choices around Batgirl. Fraser starred in The Whale and has been nominated for almost every acting award that exists. Grace is now part of the hit podcast series How to Win Friends and Disappear People and it’s likely that the young star of In The Heights will find herself back in spandex at least one more time in her promising career.