Batgirl star says news of film’s scrapping was like ‘deflating a balloon’

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The star of DC film Batgirl says hearing the news that Warner Bros had decided to scrap the film was like “deflating a balloon”.

US actress Leslie Grace admitted there were “obstacles” that affected the shooting process in Scotland, but said she was still grateful for the experience.

The decision that the film would be axed was made suddenly in August last year just months before it was due to be released.

Filming in Glasgow
Actors Leslie Grace and Ethan Kai on set during filming in Glasgow for Batgirl (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Speaking to US trade publication Variety, Grace said she had found out the news “like the rest of you” – after reading reports in the media.

Asked if there were signs that the production was “not going to work”, she said: “I’m not going to lie to you. In every film, there are obstacles, and our film was nothing short of that.

“Half of the shoot was night shoots in Scotland, where it never stops raining.

She added: “Even though I would’ve loved to share that with the rest of the world, nothing can take that experience away from us.”

Batgirl reportedly cost an estimated 70 million dollars (£57.6 million) and the film was scheduled for release in late 2022 – though the decision to cancel its release was reportedly due to poor screen tests.

In January last year, the Trongate area of Glasgow was transformed by set builders into Gotham City for the production, with alterations made to shop fronts and police cars.

95th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon – Arrivals
Brendan Fraser, who was also due to star in Batgirl, said news of the film’s cancellation had been a ‘gut punch’ (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

In an online statement following the announcement, directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said they were “saddened and shocked” by the news they wished fans could have the “opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves”.

Fraser, who has picked up a best actor nomination at this year’s Oscars for his performance in The Whale, told Variety that the news about Batgirl had been a “gut punch”.

The actor said the most “lamentable” part of the decision by Warner Bros had been that “a whole generation of little girls are going to have to wait longer to see a Batgirl and say, ‘Hey, she looks like me’.”

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