A Young Batgirl Fan Was Supposed To Appear In The DC Movie. Her Dad Recalls Having To Tell Her The Flick Was Scrapped

Leslie Grace in Batgirl suit
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The ramifications of the Batgirl cancellation are still being felt weeks after the surprise announcement. Because the DC film was scrapped, three important firsts won’t happen in th e DCEU. Outside of the film industry fallout, there was a personal angle that got lost in the shuffle. The HBO Max film was meant to be a special moment for a young Batgirl fan as it was her film debut. After the film’s cancellation, her father explained how he told his daughter the shocking news.

A young Irish girl named Isla Neil went viral after Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah spotted her wearing a Batgirl costume while filming the project. They even gave her an online shoutout. Because of her connection to the character, the directing duo gave her a small part in the film. Her father Alastair Neil recalled to Glasgow Evening Times how she felt about being in the canceled film.

Isla was over the moon. It was emotional watching them together. It’s just a pity we’re not getting to see the movie. We had to keep it all a secret for so long. We kept saying to Isla ‘you’re going to be on the big screen’. We had plans to go to the cinema when the film was released, and she wanted her friends to see her in the movie.

Well, that’s sad. Being a fan of the character is one thing but being in a film based on the said character is any fan’s dream. Unveiling her secret to her friends would’ve been a precious shared moment. Unfortunately, the film being canceled squashed those dreams. But it wasn’t just not sharing a moment with friends that disappointed Isla Neil. Her father explained what happened when he delivered the huge blow of Batgirl’s cancelation to the young fan.

She was upset, really upset about it being scrapped, but she’s got the memories she’ll never forget. She also said ‘I’ll never see Leslie Grace again’ as she was hoping to go to the premiere and meet with her again.

Her hurt over the canceled project echoed the sentiment of the directing duo and Leslie Grace. While appearing in the Batgirl movie was a prize, it seemed like the young girl made a special connection with Grace during the film shoot. Alastair Neil revealed the leading lady as well as the cast and crew treated his daughter well during her single-day shoot. So, meeting the actress was the cherry on top for the Batgirl fan. She was heartbroken over never getting to see the In the Heights actress again. Isla Neil wasn’t the only one who was disappointed as her father broke down his feelings about not seeing her in the movie.

I was absolutely gutted too. I was expecting to see my wee girl on the screen in a real movie. Isla was actually away on holiday when I heard the news and I waited until she came back to tell her face-to-face.

Since the DC film was scrapped, there have been rumors of Warner Bros. apparently giving secret screenings of Batgirl before the studio locks it away. There’s been pleas from fans and cast members alike for the studio to not destroy the footage. All this came on the heels of  El Arbi & Fallah trying unsuccessfully to preserve the footage but were too late as Warner Bros. scrubbed the server.

Batgirl’s cancelation is just the tip of the DC iceberg as Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Shazam! Fury of the Gods was delayed to 2023, prompting responses from their respective directors. There are still multiple upcoming superhero movies coming to viewers through 2024.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).