Wherever there’s a vigilante, there’s sure to be contention. This sentiment couldn’t possibly ring more true than with the real-life altercation ensuing in Glasgow, Scotland through the current filming of DC Comics Batgirl film. With production ramping up for the first feature film showcasing Barbara Gordon, it seems Gotham’s troubles are pouring over into the Scottish city as the complaints regarding the film’s production keep rolling in.
Batgirl filming began not that long ago in Glasgow. As the most heavily populated city in Scottland, Glasgow’s appealing grid street systems and eclectic architecture make the city a desirable place for studios to film. However, it seems not everyone is happy with the city’s newfound Hollywood attraction, as news outlets report stories from irate business owners upset with Batgirl’s production team. According to STV News, three local business owners are speaking out about the disruption Batgirl filming is having on their livelihood.
Robert Chambers owns a clothing and printing shop on King Street called Social Recluse. Roberts told reporters he was forced to close his shop for a week due to road closures that led to unworkable customer numbers. “Nothing was moving in the street, and the whole experience [was] a shambles” A similar report was also made by City Retro Fashion owner Frederique Villain. According to Villain, Batgirl delayed deliveries and hurt profits for her vintage clothing store in January. The hits at the studio continued with Aimee Jacson, the owner of Bakeries Plantyful and Zilch, who was also impacted by closures due to road closures that she said often rerouted pedestrians away from her businesses.
While it seems Batgirl and crew are receiving the brunt of the complaints, the anger has likely been a long time brewing for the locals in Glasgow. Not always seen as the most desirable filming location, the Scottish government, and the cities tourist department have been heavily promoting the historic city as a destination for filmmakers. The last few years have boasted the largest increase in production crews seen in the city. DC itself has found a hypothetical headquarters out of Glasgow. Not only is Batgirl currently being filmed there, but this year’s The Batman and The Flash all shared Glasgow as a filming location. The Scottish city has also served as a hotspot for other filming studios, as the upcoming fifth installment in the Indiana Jones franchise also used the streets of Glasgow when filming scenes. However, the difference with Batgirl may just be in the notion that the upcoming movie is the first major film production to be entirely based in the city.
In late January, Glasgow City Council’s Film Office (GFO) revealed that film production works generated a record £42.4 million for the city’s economy last year. But local business owners would like to know where exactly that money is funneling. According to business owner Robert Chambers, Warner Bros. did provide compensation to businesses affected by filming, but almost as an embarrassment, the indemnity averaged around $40 a day of filming. The shop owner did make a point to insist that he remains in support of promoting Glasgow as a film-friendly location, but he iterated the notion that all parties involved need to come up with better solutions to minimize local business disruption.
Batgirl will swoop to the screen sometime later this year. As Leslie Grace preps to make her DC Extended Universe live-action debut in the first film from the studio set to release solely to streaming via HBO Max, the studio has yet to make any official comments regarding the disruption to local business.