The star of the shelved “Batgirl” is defending the film.
In an interview with Variety, actress Leslie Grace responded to the recent claim by DC Studios co-head Peter Safran that the superhero film was “unreleasable.”
“I saw the movie, and there are a lot of incredibly talented people in front of and behind the camera on that film,” Safran had told Variety in an earlier interview. “But that film was not releasable, and it happens sometimes. That film was not releasable. I actually think that [president and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery David] Zaslav and the team made a very bold and courageous decision to cancel it because it would have hurt DC. It would have hurt those people involved.”
But that view seemed to be news to Grace, who said she had her own meetings with Warner Bros. executives, who shared their views about the project.
“They weren’t really specific on anything creative in terms of what they felt about the film and how it would’ve hurt DC creatively,” she said. “But I’m a human being, and people have perceptions and people read things. And when words are expressed very lightly about work that people really dedicated a lot of time to — not just myself but the whole crew — I can understand how it could be frustrating.”
Asked about her own feelings about the quality of the film, Grace said, “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. But the film that I got to see — the scenes that were there — was incredible.”
She added, “There was definitely potential for a good film, in my opinion. Maybe we’ll get to see clips of it later on.”
Last August, Warner Bros. announced that “Batgirl”, which had already completed principal photography, was being cancelled amid the company’s merger with Discovery, with the $90 million cost of the film winding up as a tax write-off for the new corporate entity.
“It was like deflating a balloon,” Grace said of learning the film was cancelled from news reports. “On that day, I was very much just taking it all in, but also so sure of the magic that happened — in my experience and what I saw in my cast, in our team — that I was like, ‘This must be some crazy thing that we have no control over.'”
She continued, “I tend to be a very optimistic and positive person in these types of circumstances, and I just really leaned on the beauty of the idea that I got to have this experience in my life. Even though I would’ve loved to share that with the rest of the world, nothing can take that experience away from us.”
As for whether she has heard from Safran or DC co-head James Gunn since they took over the studio, after the film’s cancellation, Grace said, “No, I haven’t heard from them. But I wish them the best on all the plans that they’ve got rolling out. They’ve got a lot of projects to handle, and it’s not an easy job.”
Safran and Gunn have been busy charting a new course for the DC universe, announcing a new slate of films, and putting a number of current franchises, including the Gal Gadot-led “Wonder Woman” series on the back-burner, and cancelling the planned return of Henry Cavill as Superman.