Batgirl’s Leslie Grace Refutes Claim The Scrapped Movie Was ‘Unreleasable’

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

It’s no secret that comic book movies are everywhere, with the genre being a powerful force in TV and film for well over a decade. Warner Bros.’ DC universe is known for keeping fans on their toes, with twists happening on and off camera. Case in point: the Batgirl movie being scrapped despite it being fairly close to completion. And the project's star Leslie Grace recently refuted the claim that the movie’s quality was “unreleasable.”

News of Batgirl getting dropped by Warner Bros. broke the internet, especially since the project was going to include the likes of Michael Keaton, J.K. Simmons, and Brendan Fraser. Most recently new DC co-ceo Peter Safran claimed that Batgirl would have hurt the universe due to its quality, which he claimed was “unreleasable.” Barbara Gordon herself Leslie Grace recently spoke to Variety about the movie, where she addressed those claims. While revealing she didn’t get to see the latest cut of Batgirl before it was dropped, she said:

That’s the one thing I asked for. I got to see the film as far as it got to; the film wasn’t complete by the time that it was tested. There were a bunch of scenes that weren’t even in there. They were at the beginning of the editing process, and they were cut off because of everything going on at the company. But the film that I got to see — the scenes that were there — was incredible. There was definitely potential for a good film, in my opinion. Maybe we’ll get to see clips of it later on.

Well, there you have it. While Leslie Grace was careful to clarify that she didn’t get to see the state of Batgirl before it was dropped by the studio, the footage she saw didn’t seem like it was unreleasable. Instead, she thought scenes that she was shown were incredible. Show us the footage, Warner Bros.!

Leslie Grace’s comments help to peel back the curtain on what it was like working on the ill-fated Batgirl movie for HBO Max. It turns out that she learned about the movie being scrapped just like the general public, despite playing the title character for months of production. And just like fans, she’s hoping that some of the footage will be released to the public. But it’s currently unclear if that’ll ever happen.

Later in that same conversation, Leslie Grace further explained what it was like learning that Batgirl would seemingly never be released, despite principal photography already being completed. She was expecting to return for reshoots and pickups, which is why the news that the movie was cancelled was so shocking– especially since it was seemingly motivated by a tax write-off for the studio. As she put it,

I thought I was getting punked, but it checked out. Then came hysterical laughter like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me?’ I know that the filmmakers and producers were expecting to hear from the studio about the film, and the anticipation was, ‘How do we broaden the movie out to take it from a streaming format to a theatrical release?’ But as we all know, it was the complete opposite. When we were expecting XYZ amount of support and money to expand scenes — to do pickup shots and those kinds of things — that was a gut punch. But then we learned that it was in the interest of writing down some debt? That part really stung.

I mean, can you blame her? The cast and crew filmed Batgirl for months, which no doubt included some grueling hours and night shoots. So to have those efforts be ignored in hopes of clearing Warner Bros.’ financial debts was likely quite upsetting for Leslie Grace and company. While the DCEU has new leadership and a cohesive vision for the future, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to include Batgirl.

The next DC movie 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. After that is Andy Muschietti’s The Flash, which recently treated fans to the first wild trailer.

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.