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Leslie Grace Addresses Heartbreaking ‘Batgirl’ Cancellation

The actress took to social media to discuss the film's status.

Leslie Grace as Batgirl in HBO Max's 'Batgirl'.

We’re still reeling from the shocking announcement that Warner Bros. and HBO Max have decided to shelve the Batgirl movie. Despite already spending $90 million on the film AND completing principal production, the studio has opted not the release the film, instead taking a tax write-down for the entire project. It’s a devastating blow for Batgirl fans, and a massive disappointment for everyone who worked on the film. It must be especially disappointing for Leslie Grace (In The Heights), who stars in the title role.

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Grace took to social media to respond to the film’s cancellation, writing “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!”.

And she wasn’t alone. The film’s directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah issued a statement of their own, writing “We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it. As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.”

Batgirl was an unfortunate casualty of the Warner Bros./Discover mega-merger, which sees new CEO David Zaslav wiping his predecessor’s slate clean. Among Zaslav’s plans are rumored multiple layoffs at HBO Max and a scaling back of the streamer’s original programming.

Batgirl also starred Michael Keaton, reprising his iconic role as Batman, J.K. Simmons return as Commissioner James Gordon, and Brendan Fraser as villain Firefly. It’s a blow to representation and terrible optics for the studio to cancel a film starring, written by, and directed by women and people of color. It’s all the more upsetting given that Warner Bros. is likely moving ahead with The Flash, despite the myriad allegations of abuse against star Ezra Miller.

The new Warner Bros. mandate also jeopardizes the future of other diverse superhero offerings, like the Latino-led Blue Beetle, Sasha Calle’s Supergirl, and Emerald Fennell’s take on Zatanna. Once again, the DC universe and future plans are up in the air as Warner Bros. undergoes yet another reset.

(featured image: HBO Max)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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