‘Batgirl’ Star Leslie Grace breaks silence on ‘Batgirl’ shelving

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Leslie Grace attends the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on September 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Leslie Grace attends the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on September 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images) /

After the Batgirl film was shelved, actress Leslie Grace is breaking her silence, sharing thoughts including how she learned of the news and how the final cut was, along with details on her future projects.

It came as a shock to many when it was announced that the upcoming Batgirl film was going to not be released. In August, Warner Bros. Discovery decided to not go forward with the film, which was originally slated to be released on HBO Max, after the cast and crew completed a seven-month production in Scotland.

According to Variety, “after the first disappointing test screenings, WBD executives chose to take a tax write-off instead of trying to complete work on the film, which had cost the debt-ridden studio $90 million, and would have cost many more millions to finish.”

Leslie Grace, the actress who portrayed Batgirl in the film, discovered the news by reading an article published in the New York Post.

Brendan Fraser, who played Firefly, Batgirl’s nemesis in the film, was also stunned, sharing that it was a ‘gut punch’ and that originally the thought was different.

As stated in Variety, Fraser explained, “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.”

He also shares how he immediately called Grace after the news and expresses how now a generation of girls will have to wait longer to see a film with Batgirl, a character that many of them would be able to relate to while complimenting Grace on her performance.

While Fraser is in the midst of awards season, having been nominated for Best Actor for his performance in The Whale at the upcoming Academy Awards, Grace is also back in the spotlight, with the comedy-thriller podcast series How to Win Friends and Disappear. The series is from QCode and follows, “a computer scientist (Soni Bringas) in New York City who discovers her neighbor, played by Grace, is a vampire.”

Recently, Variety had a chance to interview Grace about the experience, marking the first time she has gone into details about the roller coaster ride of being cast as Batgirl, filming the movie, and getting the news that it would not be released.

While she says the experience was like deflating a balloon, she stated that: “I tend to be a very optimistic and positive person in these types of circumstances, and I just really leaned on the beauty of the idea that I got to have this experience in my life. Even though I would’ve loved to share that with the rest of the world, nothing can take that experience away from us.”

She also acknowledged the fact that she thought, “This must be some crazy thing that we have no control over.”

She went on to emphasize how, as an actress, she learned that there was so much that she had no control over, including how Warner Bros. Film Group CEOs Pam Abdy and Mike De Luca explained that there were things even out of their hands and went on to detail how they shared information about “plans and budgets that were set in place before they were even part of the team.”

When it was shared that the head of DC Studios, Peter Safran, said that the movie was “not releasable”, Grace explained that they weren’t “really specific on anything creative in terms of what they felt about the film and how it would’ve hurt DC creatively.”

She went on to say that people are human and that it could be understood how this can all be frustrating

Grace was able to see the final cut of the film. When the project was shelved, the film wasn’t complete as it was at the beginning of the editing process.  Grace praised what she saw and shared that there are still talks for a sequel, focusing on the long-term potential of the story that was just beginning with Batgirl.

She called the final cut, “incredible,” and shared that, in her opinion, there “was definitely potential for a good film.”

Grace admitted that there is no such thing as a perfect film with zero obstacles, and Batgirl was no exception. However, she praised the crew for overcoming these obstacles, including rainy night shoots, and how they successfully were able to achieve what the goal was to present on the screen.

She understands that fans would like to see Batgirl in another project, such as Matt Reeve’s Batman films, but after the previous shelving, Grace isn’t quick to confirm or deny the potential of Batgirl’s future from a reality standpoint.

She made sure to send a positive message on how her portrayal as Batgirl would mean so much to young Latinas to see themselves represented on screen in such a huge role, even after the shelving of the project.

Grace said that she would tell these young girls to, “Just keep going no matter what the obstacle is. If you have a passion for something, don’t let anything that stands in your way tell you that you aren’t worthy, capable, or have the potential to fulfill what you know you’re capable of doing.”

The interview then turns to focus on Grace’s next project, How to Win Friends and Disappear People and gives a behind-the-scenes look at how a podcast series is made by sharing that she recorded all of her parts before the rest of the cast and was able to work with a reader who brought the other parts to life.

Since Grace is also a producer on the series, she is already thinking of how QCode does well with taking audible and podcast content to the screen. She hopes to bring an almost all-Latino cast for an on-screen adaptation.

Of course, since the series is a vampire series, Grace responded to a question that she is a fan of the vampire genre, specifically Twilight, and was Team Jacob when the film came out.

In a light-hearted way to end the interview, Grace shared, “I’m not going to front, but now I have to be a little bit biased. I’m a vampire myself, so I can’t be saying that out here in these streets. My vampire fam will come after me.”

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