Batgirl will probably never see the light of day but that didn’t stop “funeral screenings” of a rough cut from being held for cast and crew on the Warner Bros. lot.

Source: Batgirl Vol. 4 #50 “Open Mind” (2016), DC Comics. Cover art by Babs Tarr.

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It’s because of one of these screenings that intel is coming in about aspects of the canceled film, including how big of a role Michael Keaton was supposed to have.

Heroic Hollywood editor Umberto Gonzalez revealed in a Twitter Space discussion with Fandango writer Erik Davis what a source who attended a screening relayed to him about Keaton’s presence.

Source: Batman (1989), Warner Bros. Pictures

Gonzalez shared that Keaton played a Bruce Wayne who was retired from super heroics and popped in and out in what he called “a pivotal cameo” as an advisor to Barbara Gordon.

“I asked how Keaton is in it at least, and I was told he was good,” Gonzalez explained. “He’s playing Bruce Wayne/Batman age-appropriate, he’s got white hair when he’s Bruce Wayne. And the kicker here is that his Batman is ‘retired.’”

Source: Batman Returns (1992), Warner Bros.

Gonzalez continued, “But he obviously pops in to help and advise Barbara Gordon (Leslie Grace). But he’s not really that much in it, but he has a presence when he’s in it, and it’s sort of a pivotal cameo when he pops in and out.”

His source said Batgirl was “certainly not the worst superhero movie but ultimately, I understand why they took the right down.” When asked to elaborate, the source compared its quality to a CW pilot.

Source: Morbius (2021)

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“I asked this individual elaborate a little further and was told it’s basically essentially an expensive CW pilot, which is what I heard it was,” said Gonzalez.

“It plays like a very expensive CW pilot,” he added. “It’s not really a strong film, the tone is just very CW, lacking in depth, lighter, and more comic book-like, which is odd because Michael Keaton’s in it. It’s finally lighter than his Tim Burton films.”

Source: Batman Returns (1992), Warner Bros. Pictures

Tim Burton’s duology of Batman films is known for their pulpy darkness and their two-hour-and-change lengths. Batgirl, on the other hand, was going to be shorter by a half hour.

“Currently, it’s about an hour and 40-plus minutes,” Gonzalez revealed. “It’s basically an hour, 40 minutes CW pilot. With a pretty good action set piece at the end from what I’m told. And again, not the worst superhero film I’ve ever seen.”

Source: Batman (1966-1968), Greenway Productions

He added that it didn’t “feel cinematic,” according to his source, but that’s an expectation when it was shot for streaming. Plus, it’s “something they probably could have corrected if they did some additional photography,” which isn’t going to happen any more.

Gonzalez also said there is a big action set piece in the end but did not confirm the information reportedly told to YouTube scooper Doomcock that Bruce Wayne dies ignominiously in the final battle.

Source: Batman (1989), Warner Bros. Pictures

That detail is still only a rumor but we know Keaton’s future in the DCEU is up in the air as he was allegedly replaced by Ben Affleck in reshoots of Aquaman 2. He still appears in The Flash though that might be the extent of his resurgence as Batman.

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