Exclusive: Leslie Grace Offered To Return As Batgirl But Declined

According to our sources, Leslie Grace was asked to return as Batgirl in other DCEU movies but declined.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

leslie grace batgirl

Film and television projects get canceled all the time, but few of them have the impact and press coverage as Batgirl. The now-shelved Leslie Grace Batgirl movie was abruptly canceled by Warner Bros. Discovery earlier this month, triggering an avalanche of protest, outcry, questions, and ultimately, even more cancelations. According to our trusted and proven sources, Leslie Grace has actually been approached by Warner Bros. Discovery to continue as Batgirl in other DCEU projects and has said “no.” In fact, it seems that Leslie Grace’s refusal to return to the role of Barbara Gordon was pretty emphatic and the actress is extremely angry at Warner Bros. Discovery, pretty understandably. 

Leslie Grace was to star as the title character in Batgirl, which was developed as a project to be released directly on HBO Max. This was in line with the general direction of DC Films, the subsidiary of Warner Bros. Pictures, which, in turn, became a subsidiary of the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery in April. Prior to the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, Inc., DC Films was increasingly relying on the popular HBO Max platform for new releases; streaming DCEU shows like Peacemaker and Harley Quinn were better received and more popular than big theatrical releases had been, so it made sense for the Leslie Grace Batgirl movie to land there. 

However, incoming Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has a different vision for the company. His recently announced ten-year plan is focused on theatrical release films and he has promised to save the company $3 billion in costs, which coincidentally seems to involve the firing of Warner Bros executives who preceded him and the cancelation of projects like the Leslie Grace Batgirl in which he was not involved. 

It is entirely possible that the firestorm of negative press around the cancelation of the Leslie Grace Batgirl movie is causing Warner Bros. Discovery to do some damage control and see if they can still retain her as an actor. As many pointed out, abruptly canceling the first superhero movie that starred a female Latin actor (and was directed by filmmakers of Moroccan descent) was not a good look, diversity-wise, particularly when other projects starring incredibly problematic leads were still planned for release

Trying to get Leslie Grace back as Batgirl in a supporting role in some other character’s movie is a real PR Hail Mary, and it does not seem as though it succeeded. It is very understandable that Leslie Grace would not want to keep working with Warner Bros. Discovery after they canceled her first starring feature film (and only her second film overall). The direction that Warner Bros. Discovery is going to go is very much in doubt now, and it feels likely that if it tried to cast a different actor as Batgirl for at least the foreseeable future, it would get the company in public perception hot water all over again. In its eagerness to save a few bucks on the Leslie Grace Batgirl movie, they might have just burned themselves from using the character at all.