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Warner Bros. Hosts Funeral Screenings of ‘Batgirl’ Before Locking the Film Away

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

Fans are still reeling from Warner Bros. baffling decision to cancel the nearly complete Batgirl movie in favor of a tax write-down (after having spent $90 million on the film already). But before the film gets tossed into the water tower with the Warner siblings, the studio is doing a series a secret “funeral screenings” for the cast and crew. The film is unfinished, but many wanted to see a rough cut of the film before it goes into the vault, where it will remain until a Snyder-esque fan campaign succeeds in convincing the company to finish the film.

But while Snyder had the benefit of an already released version of Justice League (opening the door for alternate versions), any release of Batgirl would invalidate the tax write-down, and Warner Bros. would have to reimburse the IRS for whatever write-down they receive. So unfortunately for us, it looks like that single public test screening will be our only glimpse at the Batgirl movie that could have been.

Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah confirmed that they no longer have access to the film footage, after previously declaring that they were “shocked and saddened” by the film’s abrupt cancellation.

Ivory Aquino, who played Barbara Gordon’s best friend and roommate Alysia Yeoh (in a role that would have been the first trans character in a DC film) tweeted an open letter to WBD CEO David Zaslav, where she wrote “I just read an article @THR about supposed ‘funeral screenings’ of #Batgirl and the possibility afterwards that the film footage would be destroyed.. if this is the case, as one of many who poured our hearts into the making of this movie, I ask that this measure be reconsidered.”

Aquino ended her plea, writing “Now, more people know about our labor of love and are eager to see the movie. I do hope you get to read this letter. Consider releasing Batgirl. She’s always been an underdog and has nowhere to go but up.”

And Aquino isn’t wrong. The deluge of press that Batgirl has received in the wake of the film’s cancellation is massive. It’s also an indicator of public interest in the project, and that there is clearly still an audience for the film. Amidst the landslide of bad press Warner Bros. Discovery has received, it would be worth finishing the film for the PR alone. Or, you know, because it’s the right thing to do.

(via The Hollywood Reporter, featured image: Warner Bros.)

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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.