'Batgirl' Film Starring Leslie Grace Will Not Be Released

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The Batgirl standalone film, starring In the Heights standout Leslie Grace as the titular DC Comics hero, will not be released in theaters or on HBO Max, according to multiple reports.

Grace was set to star as Barbara Gordon in the upcoming film, which was greenlit in 2021 and directed by Ms. Marvel executive producers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah for intended release on HBO Max. However, multiple reports say that new leadership at Warner Bros. pivoted the company back toward theatrical releases, with TheWrap sharing that "insiders added that studio brass loves the film’s directors and star, and are actively planning to work with them soon."

Variety reports that "studio insiders insist the decision was not driven by the quality of the film or the commitment of the filmmakers, but by the desire for the studio’s slate of DC features to be at a blockbuster scale. Batgirl was budgeted to screen in homes on HBO Max, and not for a major global release in theaters. (The budget reached $90 million due in part to COVID-related delays and protocols.)"

The film was set to include a return from Michael Keaton as Batman (who is also set to reprise the role in the upcoming Flash movie, starring Ezra Miller), as well as DC Films' first transgender star, with Ivory Aquino set to take on the role of Alysia Yeoh, a trans woman and roommate of Grace's Barbara Gordon.

ET was the first to speak with Grace last year after the news of her casting was announced, where she shared, "This is only my second role, but I'm learning from my colleagues and other friends of mine that you put a little bit of yourself into each character. And just in the bit of research that I've been doing leading into pre-production, I've learned a lot of things about Barbara that are very in line with me."

"She's someone who's been underestimated by even her own dad and being the youngest kid, sometimes you're insulated from all of the tough stuff of life and she's so eager to prove to herself and to everybody else that there's some things that she can handle," she continued. "So, this journey is definitely going to show me a lot of that. I feel like I'm on an endless journey of proving to myself what barriers I can break, what limits I can break for myself and I'm excited to put a little bit of that eagerness and drive and, like, almost a bit of stubbornness into Barbara's character."

The news comes just a few months after The CW also canceled their Batwoman series, which starred Javicia Leslie as the titular DC hero. See what advice Leslie had for Grace when it came to taking on her own Bat-mantle in the video below.


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