Brendan Fraser Starred As A Supervillain In A Superhero Movie, And You’ll Never Be Allowed To See It
Brendan Fraser tells Howard Stern about shooting Batgirl as the Batman villain Firefly, and how in most likelihood the world will never see it.
Brendan Fraser needs to correct some misinformation. Some, like Howard Stern apparently, were under the impression that the actor never got to play Firefly in Warner Bros. Discovery‘s shelved Batgirl feature. No, Fraser corrected Stern in the recent interview: he shot the entire thing, we just won’t get to see it.
As you can see in the video above, Stern says about Batgirl, “I guess that project went away.” Brendan Fraser quickly corrects him: “I was in Batgirl. We shot that entirely.”
There have been a lot of stories about why we’ll likely never get to see Batgirl — that the story clashed with DC Studios‘ evolving plans, that in the wake of the Warner Bros. Discovery merger the film was scrapped purely as a tax write-off, or that an early screening revealed the film was a mess. Brendan Fraser didn’t have much to say about the first two stories, but he did respond to allegations that the film was “not releasable,” as DC Studios co-head Peter Safran put it.
Brendan Fraser acknowledged that the infamous test screening wasn’t well received, but he also doesn’t believe the film got a real chance.
“It was screened in a garden variety test screening. It was a directors’ cut, a first cut — it wasn’t finished! I mean, I don’t know about you, but I don’t eat half-baked cake. I don’t want to see something that’s not ready yet… It wasn’t shown in the best light that it could have had been. Yes, once you give a film to the people and the world, yeah, it’s open season to criticize it or praise it or whatever you want, but this didn’t really even get a fair shake and that’s disappointing.”-Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser doesn’t mention it in the interview, but another element that may very well have caused undue confusion was Michael Keaton once more assuming the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the same narrative where fans previously saw that part played by Ben Affleck. This change would likely have been explained in the upcoming The Flash, which those at the test screening didn’t have the benefit of seeing.
The filmmaking team of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Farrah directed the shelved Batgirl, and Brendan Fraser points out why they were likely the perfect choice for the film. Known best for directing Bad Boys for Life, as you can see on IMDb, the pair are, in Fraser’s words, “really good at blowing sh-t up.” Fraser’s character Firefly — a former firefighter turned Gotham’s deadliest pyromaniac — was a villain “right in their wheelhouse.”
Whether or not we ever get to see the shelved Batgirl, clearly Brendan Fraser’s career isn’t suffering. The beloved star is currently nominated for the Best Leading Actor Oscar for his role in the Darren Aronofsky-directed The Whale. Among other upcoming projects, he’ll soon be appearing in a star-studded ensemble cast for Martin Scorsese‘s Killers of the Flower Moon.