After Report Of Batgirl’s Secret Screenings, One Cast Member Pleads To Warner Bros. Not To Destroy The Footage

Ivory Aquino in ABC's When We Rise
(Image credit: ABC Studios)

It’s been one shock after another over at Warner Bros. as the new studio head makes one radical change to the company and then another comes along. The most high profile change has been the decision to not release the Batgirl movie, despite the fact that a great deal of time, effort, and money, had been spent on it. Now, amid reports that what exists of the film could actually be destroyed, one cast member has written an open letter to CEO David Zaslav asking him not to let that happen.

Yesterday it was reported that “funeral” screenings of Batgirl were being held on the WB lot, where a select few were being given a chance to see Batgirl, or at least what there is of it, since we know the film had not been completed. It was also stated that the movie might be destroyed in order to ensure the tax break that WB was looking for by shuttering production. Ivory Aquino, who co-starred  with Leslie Grace in Batgirl, took to Twitter to publish an open letter asking for this to not happen… 

Dear Mr. Zaslav, I just read an article @THR about supposed ‘funeral screenings’ of #Batgirl and the possibility afterwards that the film footage would be destroyed.. if this is the case, as one of many who poured our hearts into the making of this movie, I ask that this measure be reconsidered. As much as I’ve tried my best to be strong these past few weeks, I’d find myself crying, for lack of a better term, from grief, and tonight was one of those nights.

By closing down the production of Batgirl Warner Bros. Discovery has the ability to take a tax write-off, essentially calling the film a bad investment. However, taking the tax break means the studio is not allowed to profit from the film in any way. As such, it’s been reported that the movie might actually be destroyed as a way to prove to the IRS that the studio does not plan to ever release the movie.

Ivory Aquino is making an 11th hour appeal to prevent such an execution. She feels that the Batgirl movie has some universal themes, that’s a story about a father-daughter relationship that viewers would be able to relate to and appreciate and she hoped the movie would resonate with fans, and is heartbroken it will not get that chance. She continues…

As much as Batgirl has been labeled a woke film, it simply came together that way because of writing that reflects the world we live in. For me, more than anything, it is a father-daughter story which hits close to home as my Dad passed a year ago, shortly before I booked this project, and I was hoping it would resonate with other children around the world, grown and not-so-grown, who hold their fathers in the highest esteem and who could see Batgirl as a story of that special bond.

Since money is at the core of the decisions around Batgirl, Aquino even appeals to Zaslav from a financial perspective, she argues that completing and releasing the movie now will actually be cheaper, since all the news surrounding Batgirl’s demise will act as de facto marketing for the movie. And if WBD did reverse course, that would also be a big news story. She’s certainly not wrong as far as it goes, when she says…

If a month ago, there wasn’t a marketing budget for Batgirl, I’d venture to say that that has been taken care of by the turn of events these past few weeks. We’ve been fortunate to have such amazing supporters since the beginning, from Glasgow where we filmed and from all over the world. Now, more people know about our labor of love and are eager to see the movie. I do hope you get to read this letter. Consider releasing Batgirl. She’s always been an underdog and has nowhere to go but up.

Unfortunately, ever seeing Batgirl released appears to be an incredible long shot right now. According to the directors, the movie is far from complete, with reshoots and most digital effects yet to be completed. At the same time, this situation has revealed a lot of people who clearly want to see this movie and it has raised the film’s profile significantly. The decision to kill the movie reportedly even caused one WB executive to nearly quit. Perhaps the outcry is big enough to make that an investment worth making. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.