Almost-Firefly actor in Batgirl Brendan Fraser is sharing a little more about his experience with the axing of the film. He particularly reveals how he heard the news which didn’t come to him directly from the studio. Reading about it online, Fraser considers the blindsiding news “a gut punch” but he was frustrated more for his costar Leslie Grace who played Barbara Gordon.

Firefly in Gotham via FOX Television

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“I thought I was getting punked, but it checked out,” he revealed to Variety. “Then came hysterical laughter like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me?’ I know that the filmmakers and producers were expecting to hear from the studio about the film, and the anticipation was, ‘How do we broaden the movie out to take it from a streaming format to a theatrical release?’”

He continued, “But as we all know, it was the complete opposite. When we were expecting XYZ amount of support and money to expand scenes — to do pickup shots and those kinds of things — that was a gut punch. But then we learned that it was in the interest of writing down some debt? That part really stung.”

Brendan Fraser Gets Emotional While Accepting His Award at the TIFF Tribute Gala, Thanks His Fans, Variety YouTube

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Praising Grace’s performance, Fraser added, “It was just magical to see how she was as quietly confident as a young actress in this breakthrough role and had a sense of purpose and dignity…She has a work ethic that is unrivaled. She’s dynamite — and dynamite comes in small packages but still goes bang. We…battle each other several times.”

He further elaborated, “There was a lot of kicking and punching and getting hurt but we were always helping each other to our feet after breaking set pieces and knocking the tar out of each other.” Grace might get another chance but it wouldn’t be for another few years under James Gunn and Peter Safran’s DC, though she hasn’t spoken to them.

Behind-the-scenes picture of Leslie Grace donning a slightly more comic book-accurate Batgirl suit via @BatgirlFilm, Twitter

“We’ve definitely had conversations about Batgirl’s future and how Batgirl can make a resurgence. I think fans are looking forward to seeing that,” she told Variety, referring to DC Studio consultants Pam Abdy and Michael De Luca. “We’ll just see where that takes us; I can’t say one way or the other if that is a reality at this point.”

She added “I can’t speak too much about a future for [Batgirl] or guarantee anything. The last thing that I would want to do is give folks any kind of inkling of something that I have not much control over — as we’ve learned.” Grace is being diplomatic here which is counter to reports of her exasperation in the wake of Batgirl’s demise.

Demure Batgirl-BTAS

Batgirl feigning sweet innocence in Batman: The Animated Series (1994)

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Fraser conversely didn’t hold back with his assessment of how Warner Bros. cheated little girls with their decision. “What I find most lamentable is that now a whole generation of little girls are going to have to wait longer to see a Batgirl and say, ‘Hey, she looks like me,’” he said. “That makes me sad. I know how good she was.”

He would add, “I know what this would mean to so many people.” Fraser clearly feels Batgirl could have been historic for other reasons but, as no one shall see it, the world will never know. Peter Safran’s reason for canceling the film was related to the quality as he stated it was “unreleasable” and would have hurt everyone involved.

Leslie Grace in the now-canceled Batgirl movie

Promo shot for Batgirl, Warner Brothers

Grace disputes this saying, “I got to see the film as far as it got to; the film wasn’t complete by the time that it was tested. There were a bunch of scenes that weren’t even in there. They were at the beginning of the editing process, and they were cut off because of everything going on at the company.”

She continued, “But the film that I got to see — the scenes that were there — was incredible. There was definitely potential for a good film, in my opinion. Maybe we’ll get to see clips of it later on.” Maybe – but probably not. Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah tried to salvage some footage uploaded to a server but it was purged.

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

What do you make of Fraser and Grace’s comments?

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