The Batgirl Movie: Canceled For A Tax Writeoff
The Batgirl movie. It has been talked about for years. As in, DC has had plans for a long time to bring the superhero to the big screen in a solo adventure.
The Batgirl movie. It had been talked about for years. As in, DC has had plans for a long time to bring the superhero to the big screen in a solo adventure. And what was looking like a very cool movie and one with a ton of promise is no more. Let’s take a look at the timeline for this film, all of the updates along the way, and what ultimately happened to it in the end.
Michael Keaton Posts A Selfie From The Batgirl Set
Michael Keaton has made sure that no one will doubt his involvement in the Batgirl movie. In February 2022, the actor posted a kind of selfie from the set of the film, though it was literally just his shadow. But considering Batman kind of lives in the shadows, you can argue in his case it’s a genuine selfie. Not long after, actual full-frontal-Bat photos of the actor showed up on Twitter, along with JK Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. You can see the sorta-selfie and the tweet below.
Michael Keaton Appearing In Batgirl
Back in August 2021, we exclusively reported that Michael Keaton would be reprising his signature role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the Batgirl movie, and by December our scoop was confirmed. Warner Bros. sent out a press release listing Michael Keaton as part of the cast of HBO Max’s Batgjrl. While it was already widely reported that Keaton would play Batman in 2022’s The Flash, it took a while for his Batgirl casting to likewise be confirmed.
The casting news poses a lot of questions. With J.K. Simmons’ involvement, it was assumed Batgirl would take place in the same DCEU where Ben Affleck was Batman. Has that changed? Or is it still the case but somehow between now and the release of the Batgirl movie, Keaton will replace Affleck as Batman?
Batgirl Movie Officially Announced
All was quiet on the Batgirl movie front until AT&T’s Analyst & Investor Day 2021 presentation. The subject was being discussed at the March 12, 2021 event, and during the discussion, a graphic was presented behind the speaker. The graphic showed logos of the various movies, shows, and video games in which DC was still or planning on producing. It had the logos of Superman & Lois, Shazam: Fury of the Gods, The Suicide Squad, Gotham Knights, and Harley Quinn amongst others. But tucked in the upper right-hand corner was apparent confirmation that Batgirl was still on the DC agenda, as her logo sat there for all to see.
Here it is…
Now the movie has been confirmed and it’s in pre-production.
See The Early Batgirl Concept Art
The People Making The Batgirl Movie Now
Yes, Batgirl is happening. And as confirmed by the trades, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have signed to direct. The duo last helmed the action sequel Bad Boys For Life with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Kristin Burr, who last worked on Disney’s Cruella, is set to produce.
Writing duties have been handed over to Christina Hodson. If her name sounds familiar, well it should. Hodson began her career writing the horror flick Shut In, following that up with the thriller Unforgettable, which co-starred Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigl. Her next two movies were biggies, the 2018 blockbuster Bumblebee and then the 2020 hit, Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. And not to be outdone by any of her earlier scripts, Hodson is now working on The Flash movie. So, Batgirl looks to be in great hands with Hodson.
The Original Plan For The Batgirl Release
As Warner Bros. continued to try to get its HBO Max streaming service up to snuff, one question we all had was: would a potential Batgirl movie go to the big screen, the small screen, or both?
While Warner’s plans for 2021 included all their big movies being released simultaneously in theaters and HBO Max, they have also just recently announced that beginning in 2022 they would forgo the duel release and opt for the more traditional big-screen premiere.
This change doesn’t mean a Batgirl production will see the big screen. Walter Hamada, the President of DC-based films, said in recent interviews that DC plans to release some of their movies straight to the HBO Max streaming service. Of course, Hamada didn’t relay which movies would go straight to the streamer, but Batgirl may be one of the titles to bypass a feature film theatrical release.
As it turns out, as of mid-2021, the Batgirl movie was expected to release exclusively on HBO Max.
The Cast Of The Batgirl Movie
Early on, there were some intriguing names mentioned as possibilities for the Batgirl movie Emma Stone, Anya Taylor-Joy, Karen Gillan, and Alison Brie.
Here was our pick…
Now, though, we have an official announcement. Leslie Grace, the actress who recently turned heads with her performance in In The Heights, has been cast as Batgirl for the DC film.
She’ll be joined by Brendan Fraser, who was cast as the DC Batman villain, Firefly.
J.K. Simmons will be returning to the DC Extended Universe for Batgirl to play Commissioner Gordon. He will officially be seen as Leslie Grace’s father in the film.
Is The Batgirl Movie In The DC Universe?
All signs pointed to the new Batgirl movie taking place in the Snyderverse. These are still just rumors so far, but ones that people are getting excited about. Could this mean that we’ll see familiar DC characters appear? Margot Robbie, who plays Harley Quinn, has said she’ll talk to DC about it. Hopefully, there will be more updates on that soon.
Joss Whedon Gets Kicked Off The Project
Back in 2017, Joss Whedon infamously took over for departing director Zack Snyder on Justice League. Warner Bros. was so thrilled to have the director on board, they gave him Batgirl to write, direct and also produce the DC character. Whedon agreed and at first and it looked like Warner and DC were going to fast-track the film.
With Whedon agreeing to write the Batgirl movie script, it was to be based on the New 52 version of Barbara Gordon, where she regained the use of her legs after being paralyzed by the Joker in the graphic novel The Killing Joke. This version of Barbara Gordon, whose story was written by Gail Simone, was one of the most popular of Barbara Gordon’s stories.
But something happened on the way to Batgirl movie production and we can only assume it was Whedon’s take on Justice League. When that movie bombed, Whedon stepped (or was pushed) away from Batgirl.
First Look At Leslie Grace As Batgirl
After a long wait, we finally got to see what Leslie Grace will look like in the role of Batgirl. She posted a shot to her Instagram account and the costume looks a lot like the classic comic book stylings. There is a bit of a darker tone, but overall the purple and yellow highlights are there. Check it out:
And then we got some hints at what is happening on the set of Batgirl. A behind-the-scenes look showed Leslie Grace bloodied and beaten up (in character of course). From the early photos, this could be a more violent version of the character than we have really seen in the past. Check it out:
There’s a lot to get excited for when it comes to this flick seeing as how the DC Extended Universe might be leaning more heavily into its new characters.
Batgirl Adds First Transgender Character
It was recently announced that the Batgirl production had added another character. This is going to be Alysia Yeoh, one of Barbara Gordon’s friends from the comic books. She will be the first transgender character in the DC Extended Universe and Aquino is famous for playing transgender activist Cecilia Chung in When We Rise.
A Shocker – Batgirl Canceled By Warner Bros And DC
The news was released last week and it was a total shocker. Warner Bros announced that they were canceling the Batgirl movie despite having spent more than $90 million dollars on the film and the flick basically done with filming. The news left fans and industry with mouths agape and it signaled a much bigger shift for WB and the DC Extended Universe as well. The former is under new leadership with David Zaslav taking over as CEO and major changes are underway. It appears the studio is shifting to marketing just tentpole blockbuster films, taking a page more from the first phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that means certain movies are getting scrapped. The first to go was Batgirl.
Word had come out that the movie hadn’t screened all that well with early audiences despite some of the cool casting and updated story. But rumor has it that the studio just didn’t think they would see the blockbuster rewards from the film and opted to use the flick as a chance for a tax write-off rather than let it see the light of day.
In the wake of the Batgirl cancellation, it’s been rumored than a number of other DC-related properties won’t go forward now either. Wonder Twins has already been scrapped and it looks like Strange Adventures and the Green Lantern series is gone as well. There will certainly be more.