What happened to the Batgirl movie? Cancellation, cast, directors, latest news
The DC Extended Universe had been due to welcome a new caped crusader.
Fans of Batgirl may never see this particular film.
It was revealed in August 2022 that the release of the Batgirl movie on HBO Max had been axed by Warner Bros. despite being filmed and in post-production.
In the Heights star Leslie Grace had been set to make her debut as Batgirl - aka Barbara Gordon - on the big screen alongside J.K. Simmons who was due to reprise his Justice League role as her father, Gotham City police Commissioner James Gordon.
The legendary DC Comics character had appeared in a number of TV series over the years, including Titans season 3, but she's yet to appear in a film adaptation of a Batgirl solo movie - and it seems the wait continues.
Grace's vigilante Barbara Gordon - in her iconic blue and yellow suit with full cowl - had been photographed and with the production boasting a strong creative team including Birds of Prey screenwriter Christina Hodson as well as Bad Boys For Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.
The film was also due to see Michael Keaton reprise his iconic role as Batman/Bruce Wayne.
While plot details had remained scarce for the upcoming movie, Keaton was expected to appear as Batman to potentially mentor young vigilante Barbara.
Grace previously shared a first look (below) at the purple and yellow superhero suit she’ll be wearing as Barbara in the movie on Instagram, alongside the caption: "Batgirl: Year One".
The film was due to be set in the mainline DCEU continuity – as opposed to the separate universe inhabited by Robert Pattinson's Batman – which had allowed for JK Simmons to reprise his Justice League role of Commissioner Gordon.
However, now it seems the film will never see the light of day.
Read on for all your essential information on DC's Batgirl.
What happened to the Batgirl movie?
Batgirl was cancelled by Warner Bros. despite being due to release on HBO Max.
Following recent corporate changes, Warner Bros. is once again focusing on theatrical releases and has decided not to release Batgirl in cinemas or on any of its platforms, despite the film being almost complete.
Variety reports the studio's decision to shelve Batgirl wasn't made based on the quality of the film, which was directed by Ms Marvel's Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, but rather Warner Bros' desire for DC films to have a blockbuster scale.
A change of strategy is underway with an overhaul of Warner Bros Discovery's content, with streaming service HBO Max facing changes.
Reacting to the axeing of the film, lead actress Leslie Grace posted on her social media accounts: "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.
"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!"
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When was Batgirl supposed to be released?
Batgirl had be due be released as an HBO Max exclusive in December 2022.
Michael Uslan, who has served as executive producer on every Batman film since Tim Burton's 1989 movie through to Matt Reeves' upcoming film, shared a post on Facebook featuring a photo of Michael Keaton's Batman silhouette along with the caption: "And coming in November… December… or whenever… Michael Keaton Returns…"
Batgirl officially started filming in late November 2021, with principal photography having completed in March 2022 and entering post-production.
The cancellation of the film was announced in August 2022.
Who was in the Batgirl movie cast?
The following cast members had been confirmed for Batgirl.
- Leslie Grace as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon
- J.K. Simmons as Commissioner James Gordon
- Brendan Fraser as Firefly/Ted Karson
- Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne
- Ivory Aquino as Alysia Yeoh
- Jacob Scipio as TBC
- Rebecca Front as TBC
- Corey Johnson as TBC
- Ethan Kai as TBC
Leslie Grace was to lead the cast of DC's Batgirl movie, after the singer-turned-actor recently made a big impression on critics with her performance in Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In The Heights.
She was one of four actors said to be in contention for the role last summer, beating out competition from Isabela Merced (Sweet Girl), Zoey Deutch (The Politician) and Haley Lu Richardson (Five Feet Apart).
JK Simmons (Spider-Man: No Way Home) was also due to star as her father, Commissioner James Gordon, who is a close ally of Batman, but does not wish for his daughter to get involved in the dangerous hobby of vigilantism.
Michael Keaton was also due to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne aka Batman, which he originated in Tim Burton's 1989 film and has recently returned to as DC toys with its own multiverse stories.
Brendan Fraser had also been cast as the chief antagonist in the film, taking on the role of unhinged pyromaniac Firefly, which is entirely unrelated to his other DC role of Robotman on Doom Patrol.
Ivory Aquino was also due to be seen portraying Alysia Yeoh, a bartender and best friend of Barbara's who is also a transgender woman.
In January 2022, it was announced that The Thick Of It's Rebecca Front would be joining the cast of Batgirl in an undisclosed role, alongside Corey Johnson (The Mauritanian) and Emmerdale alum Ethan Kai.
Meanwhile, directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are reuniting with one of their Bad Boys For Life stars Jacob Scipio, whose role is also being kept under wraps for now.
Batgirl plot theories
Little was known about the plot of Batgirl, but it seems the story will focus on Barbara Gordon beginning her career as a costumed crime-fighter and facing off against menacing comic book villain, Firefly.
The film was set in the mainline DC Extended Universe continuity, which also includes the likes of Aquaman, Wonder Woman and The Flash, but is completely separate to Robert Pattinson's gritty The Batman reboot.
The future of the DCEU was unclear.
Is there a trailer for Batgirl?
There's no footage available from Batgirl just yet - and is unlikely to ever be available now the film has had its release cancelled.
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