Batgirl star Leslie Grace has responded on social media to Warner Bros. shelving the DC film, but hers weren’t words of bitterness, just gratitude to be on the journey.
“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!” wrote the CAA-repped actress.
The post also contains a gallery of images and videos from the film’s shoot.
Grace won the part of Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl after a final round that included Isabella Merced, Zoey Deutch and Haley Lu Richardson as Deadline’s Justin Kroll first reported. Her previous feature credits include Warner Bros.’ In the Heights in which she played the part of Nina Rosario.
Grace’s response comes in the wake of the DC pic’s directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah who expressing this morning that they were “saddened and shocked by the news” and that it was “critical that our work be shown to audiences.” As Deadline told you yesterday the duo first learned of the news when they were in Morocco for El Arbi’s wedding.
Yesterday, news leaked that Warner Bros Discovery killed Batgirl, two days before its quarterly earnings, to take advantage of a “purchase accounting” maneuver available to the conglom given the fact that the company recently changed hands. That opportunity expires in mid-August, and allows WBD to not have to carry the losses on its books at a time when the studio is trying to find $3 billion in cost-saving synergies; this particular film costing around $70M.
Some of our sources scratch their head at that reasoning: How much money did Warners stand to save here? $15M-$20M at the most some say — which is nothing when you’re aiming at $3 billion. Furthermore, if Batgirl went straight to HBO Max, how could anyone determine if it was a success or failure? HBO Max largely doesn’t report its viewership numbers for its series and films.
Other reasons Warner Bros Discovery scrapped Batgirl include their distribution shift to embracing theatrical and not made-for-streaming movies, which had been the plan under the previous WarnerMedia regime led by Jason Kilar. In addition, the arrival of Batgirl on HBO Max would have futzed with the DC multiverse plan being laid out with The Flash which hits theaters on July 23, 2023.
While the optics of killing a movie with a Latina lead looks despicable on Warner Bros Discovery, they released a statement last night saying, “The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance. We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.”
Grace had the following tweet from Jan. 14 pinned to the top of her account, celebrating Batgirl earlier this year, and quoting Batgirl, Year One writing “I use their expectations against them. That will be their weakness. Not mine. Let them all underestimate me…And when their guard is down, and their pride is rising, let me kick their butts.”
“I use their expectations against them. That will be their weakness. Not mine. Let them all underestimate me…
And when their guard is down, and their pride is rising, let me kick their butts.”
– Batgirl, Year One
— Leslie Grace (@lesliegrace) January 15, 2022