Batgirl's Leslie Grace Recalls Beating Up Brendan Fraser (And Hugging In Between Takes)

Leslie Grace as Nina in In The Heights
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

For those unaware, we’re currently in the midst of the Brenaissance aka Brendan Fraser’s wildly successful Hollywood comeback. This is largely thanks to his acclaimed, Oscar-nominated performance in The Whale, but he’s also got a few other projects in the works. Chief among them was as the villainous Firefly in the Batgirl movie, but that movie was scrapped by Warner Bros. despite already being filmed. And actress Leslie Grace recently recalled beating up Fraser while filming the project… as well as hugging between takes. Talk about balance.

In the Heights actress Leslie Grace got the job of a lifetime playing the title character in Batgirl. While it was cancelled after nearly being completed, she worked with legendary actors like J.K. Simmons, Michael Keaton, and (of course) Brendan Fraser. She recently spoke to Variety about the scrapped DC movie, and some memories working with the Mummy actor. As she put it,

In terms of the experience of shooting, we were all so excited for people to see a lot of the action, a lot of the practical shots we did with fire. Our movie was full of practical fire, which was really hard to shoot. Brendan [Fraser], our villain, our Firefly, he was just so outstanding…I felt so blessed to have him as my sparring partner. We had so many amazing action scenes together where we were beating each other up, but hugging in between takes because he’s just so sweet.

How sweet is that? While it’s unclear if the general public will ever be able to see any footage from the Batgirl movie, the memories for the cast and crew who worked on the superhero flick aren’t going anywhere. And Leslie Grace seems to cherish the time she spent doing the movie’s fight scenes opposite Brendan Fraser. Is anyone else’s FOMO going through the roof right now?

Leslie Grace’s latest comments about Batgirl are likely only going to increase fans calling for Warner Bros. to reverse its decision and release Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s DC blockbuster. In addition to those who want to see Barbara Gordon and Firefly come to blows on HBO Max, the inclusion of Michael Keaton as Batman presumably connects it to Andy Muschietti’s Flash movie, which will feature both he and Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight. 

Of course, Batgirl fans hoping to see the movie released might not want to hold their collective breath. Warner Bros. reportedly got a huge writeoff for dropping the project, as the studio focused entirely on theatrical releases instead of streaming movies. Still, it seems like a waste that the project was dropped so close to its completion. This is especially true given the months of work by the cast and crew.

Sweeping changes are currently happening to the DC movie universe, thanks to the new leadership by James Gunn and Peter Safran. Like the Batgirl movie being scrapped, decisions like dropping Henry Cavill as Superman has resulted in some backlash. Regardless, it’s clear that a very specific vision is being crafted for the DC Universe for the next ten years. And that includes TV and video games.

The next installment in the DCEU hitting theaters is Shazam! Fury of the Gods on March 17th. In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.