Leslie Grace, the star of Warner Bros.’ now-canceled “Batgirl” movie, has issued a statement following the studio’s decision to kill plans for a release of the film in theaters or on HBO Max. The comic book film would’ve marked Grace’s biggest acting role following her breakthrough performance in “In the Heights.” It would’ve also been a rare superhero film headlined by a Latina actor.
“Querida familia! On the heels of the recent news about our movie ‘Batgirl,’ I am proud of the love, hard work and intention all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over 7 months in Scotland,” Grace wrote on Instagram. “I feel blessed to have worked among absolute greats and forged relationships for a lifetime in the process! To every Batgirl fan – THANK YOU for the love and belief, allowing me to take on the cape and become, as Babs said best, ‘my own damn hero!’ Batgirl for life!”
Grace’s post was accompanied by a behind-the-scenes look at the film, including videos of Grace working the camera, singing along to Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous Girl” with her castmates and crooning Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” while getting suited up.
Warner Bros. announced Aug. 2 that it would not be releasing the $90 million “Batgirl” in theaters or on its HBO Max streamer, despite the movie being fully shot and in post-production. Sources told Variety the decision to kill “Batgirl” had nothing to do with the quality of the film. Instead, the studio intended to fulfill a desire for its slate of DC movies to be at a blockbuster scale, which “Batgirl” was not, as it was originally conceived specifically for HBO Max.
“Batgirl” directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah issued their own statement a day after the film got shelved, saying they were “saddened and shocked” by the news. The filmmaking duo is best known for helming “Bad Boys for Life” and episodes of “Ms. Marvel.”
“We still can’t believe it,” the directing duo wrote in a statement. “As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.”
“It was a privilege and an honor to have been a part of the DCEU, even if it was for a brief moment,” their statement added. “Batgirl For Life.”
Grace had spoken enthusiastically about “Batgirl” prior to the movie being canned. The actor told Variety in April that she even had preliminary discussions with El Arbi and Fallah about what a sequel “could be.”
“There’s crazy stunts, crazy drops,” Grace added of the film. “She’s a biker chick, so you’re going to see her do a bunch of badassery… There were a lot of long days, but it was so worth it.”
Variety also reported that a tax incentive was a driving force behind the decision to kill “Batgirl.” According to the report: “Warner Bros. will almost certainly take a tax write-down, seen internally as the most financially sound way to recoup the costs (at least, on an accountant’s ledger). It could justify that by chalking it up to a post-merger change of strategy. Doing so, however, would mean that Warner Bros. cannot monetize either movie — no HBO Max debut, no sale to another studio.”