It was recently reported that the Batgirl film, planned to be released on HBO Max later this year, is officially canceled. Even though the studio had already invested $90 million, they shelved it because it didn’t turn out how they expected. However, it’s very strange for a studio to cancel a movie that’s already been filmed, and fans are understandably disconcerted.
At this point, there were already pictures of Leslie Grace dressed as Batgirl and Brendan Fraser as villain Firefly, and fans couldn’t have been more excited. Since the announcement, they have been sharing their opinions on social media, and even though some people believe the movie wasn’t good enough to begin with, most are completely outraged at this turn of events.
This Proves Studios Only Care About Money
If you needed a perfect illustration of how studios see their superhero films as product rather than cinema — you know, like Scorsese said, to the misplaced consternation of millions of fans — this BATGIRL story is it.
— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) August 3, 2022
In an interview with the New York Times, famous director Martin Scorsese once said that he doesn’t consider superhero movies to be cinema. He explained that he thought these films are a product made for immediate consumption and that they lack an individual artist’s perspective.
Even though Scorsese’s opinion got him a lot of backslash, he had a point. Franchises seem to only care about distributing a product and making the most out of it financially. However, what Scorsese didn’t consider is the amount of effort and talent put into these movies, where directors, writers, actors, and everyone involved are doing their best to create a film that actively resonates among the fans. For this reason, it is a shame to see these films struggling due to corporate issues.
Bad Movies Are Released All The Time
Folks who are like “Batgirl was shelved because it was bad” acting as if that has ever stopped WB from releasing something before, lol.
— Richard Newby (@RICHARDLNEWBY) August 2, 2022
Some people believe that this movie was canceled because it wasn’t good enough, which couldn’t be further away from the truth. A lot of films don’t reach the expectations, but they’re still released since a lot of work and money has already gone into them.
For example, Catwoman – released by Warner Brothers in 2004 – only has a 3.4 average in IMDb. Even though the movie was led by one of the most brilliant actresses in the industry, Halle Berry, the film was a flop and Berry even got a Razzie for it. Plus, the studios have already confirmed that the quality of the film had nothing to do with Batgirl’s cancellation (via Variety).
Even Morbius Got To Be In The Theaters Twice
We are living in a society where Morbius was in theaters not once, but TWICE, and Batgirl can’t even get an HBO Max debut.
— Kasey (@RawbertBeef) August 3, 2022
Fans are upset that movies that are not very good made it to the theater, while Batgirl, which looked like a very well-made production, was not going to be available in any kind of format. Morbius, for example, was received with very bad critical reception, and it features a 16% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
A lot of movies from franchises fail, but at least fans get to decide for themselves if the product was good enough or not. Plus, some productions are the only opportunity viewers get to see some of their favorite characters or story arcs featured in a film, so even when they’re bad, they’re good enough.
Batgirl Should Be Displayed In Any Format
No clue why they can’t just release Batgirl as this standalone type thing. Not even on HBO MAX??
Like the DCEU’s already so confusing, literally who cares at this rate
— Mauricio | Browntable (@Browntable_Ent) August 2, 2022
Even though Batgirl was initially conceived as a film for HBO Max’s streaming platform, the movie reached a budget of $90 million (via Variety). It was already a shame that fans wouldn’t be able to see this amazing film on the big screen, but to not even watch it on the website is terrible news. Plus, the fact that Warner is throwing away all that money when they could simply upload the movie to their platform is extremely confusing.
Furthermore, this Twitter user makes a very solid argument that the movie could be released as a stand-alone film, without “harming” the DCEU. It wouldn’t be the first time since Warner already released Joker without connecting it to the rest of their DC franchise. Plus, Batgirl would have probably been one of the best HBO Max movies this year.
Adil El Arbi And Bilall Fallah Are Amazing Directors
Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah made BAD BOYS 3, which owned and which was one of the few hits of 2020, then made a BATGIRL movie with Leslie Grace in the lead and Michael Keaton returning as Batman, and then WB shelved it but also THE FLASH is still coming out. Okay!
— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) August 2, 2022
One of the saddest parts of watching this project being thrown into the trash is the brilliant team behind it. Not only does this movie contain an impressive cast, but its directors are none other than Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who did an amazing job with the third installment of Bad Boys for Life.
El Arbi and Fallah also recently directed the first and last episode of Ms. Marvel, a series very well received by viewers with a 98% average on the Tomatometer. These directors already showed a finesse for comic adaptations, and it’s truly a shame fan will not get to see their work on Batgirl.
People Are Looking Forward To The Movie Leak
If any disgruntled WB employee *wink wink* has the .mp4 for the Batgirl movie *wink wink* do us all a favor and “accidentally” post it *wink wink*
— yehu (@comicyehu) August 2, 2022
People don’t care in which way they watch this movie, as long as they get to watch it. Unlike other projects that are canceled, Batgirl is already completely filmed, so it would only take for someone on the inside to share it with the world. Some other fans on Twitter are planning to steal it themselves.
Though Twitter users are mostly joking, this movie looks too good, and it would be amazing if it got into the internet somehow. Hopefully, Warner will reconsider their decision and will give it to the fans themselves. If this doesn’t happen, Batgirl will become another obscure piece of media that fans will forever wonder about – another example of this is Oley Sassone’s The Fantastic Four.
Leslie Grace Deserves Better
Not only is Leslie Grace a brilliant actress whose talent was already recognized for her work in the movie In The Heights, but in general, not recognizing an actor’s hard work in a film is simply disrespectful. Grace spent a great amount of time working on this project, which includes the difficult scenes pertaining to a superhero.
The actress deserved the boost to her career that comes from such a mainstream project. Plus, Grace was perfect for the role, and it’s a shame fans won’t get to see her portrayal of this beloved DC character. Furthermore, Brendan Fraser was also denied his comeback role.
How Come They Cancel Batgirl’s Release, But Flash Is Still On?
WB: let’s scrap the Batgirl film with a promising young star, Michael Keaton Batman, & Brendan Fraiser as the villain but make absolutely no changes to a Flash film where are star is currently hiding from the police
— Nicholas (@NicholasJLevi) August 2, 2022
One of the most controversial actions from Warner at the moment is this studio’s lack of pronouncement about their film The Flash, led by Ezra Miller. So far, the movie is still set to premiere next year on June 23rd in spite of the fact that Miller has been accused of several assaults (via Variety) and sexual abuse (via Los Angeles Times), for which people are protesting the studio’s lack of ethical responsibility.
It’s certainly disappointing to see a movie composed by an outstanding cast being canceled, while a film led by a person with such terrible accusations is still on the table. Although Miller has appeared in many amazing films, Warner should address Miller’s awful actions by keeping this one on the shelves.
Fortunately, The Fans Will Always Have The Comics
Although fans are having a hard time processing that they will not get to see Batgirl as a film, at least they still have the comics, which, as the original source for these superheroes, will always out best any movie adaptation. Fortunately, Batgirl’s presence in the comics is very prominent since she first debuted.
Whether it is as Batgirl or as Oracle, Barbara Gordon has fought alongside Batman, Robin, and the rest of the Bat-Family for decades. Fans interested in this vigilante could check Cassandra Kane or Stephanie Brown’s runs under this moniker. All in all, there are still plenty of stories for Batgirl and Barbara Gordon’s fans.
The Batgirl Film Featured Great On-Screen Representation
If it wasn’t cancelled, Batgirl would have been:
-One of the first, if not the first, superhero movies with a latina actress as the lead
-One of the first superhero movies with a trans person playing a trans person
-BRENDAN FRASER’S RETURN TO THE BIG SCREEN!
— Toganium (@toganium) August 3, 2022
Not only is Leslie Grace an amazing actress, but she was probably the first Latin female protagonist of a superhero movie, a much needed and important representation. On top of that, the film also featured Ivory Aquino, a trans woman actress who played Alysia Yeoh, one of the most important transgender characters in DC comics and the first one to get married.
LGBTQ+ and POC representation is crucial, mostly in these franchise films that are watched by a large amount of the population and impact the viewers in a very positive way. Warner’s cancellation of this film shows a missed opportunity for bringing diversity into their projects, which is being duly noticed and reported by their audience.
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