"Batgirl" Star Leslie Grace Says She Found Out About the Movie's Cancellation "Like the Rest of You"

"Batgirl"'s directors, the cast, and fans are still reeling from Warner Bros.'s shocking decision to ax the nearly finished superhero adaptation. On Aug. 2, 2022, multiple reports confirmed that the $90 million production, inspired by the DC Comics character of the same name, had been shelved, prompting outrage all over. Now, six months after the bombshell, "Batgirl" star Leslie Grace is opening up about her reaction to her movie's cancellation, which, according to her, she learned about from a New York Post report.

"I found out like the rest of you," the actor, best known for starring in "In the Heights," told Variety in an interview published on Feb. 13, 2023. "And then my phone just started blowing up. . . . It was like deflating a balloon. 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.'"

"Even though I would've loved to share that with the rest of the world, nothing can take that experience away from us."

DC Studios CEO Peter Safran said during a Jan. 30 press event on the Warner Bros. lot that the shelved "Batgirl" was "not releasable," per Variety. Grace told the outlet, however, that the final cut she eventually saw was "incredible." "I'm not going to lie to you," she said. "In every film, there are obstacles, and our film was nothing short of that. . . . So there were obstacles, but at the end of the day, because of the incredible crew, nothing that ever got in the way of us delivering what we knew we wanted to deliver for this film. At least from what I was able to see."

Grace also confirmed that talks of a "Batgirl" sequel were happening with the movie's directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, after filming and apparently "still are," but for now she's just hoping that fans will get to, at least, see clips from the movie at some point. "Even though I would've loved to share that with the rest of the world, nothing can take that experience away from us."

What Have the "Batgirl" Cast and Crew Said About the Movie's Cancellation?

Grace initially addressed the news with a statement shared on Instagram last summer. "Querida familia! On the heels of the recent news about our movie 'Batgirl,' I am proud of the love, hard work and intention all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over 7 months in Scotland. I feel blessed to have worked among absolute greats and forged relationships for a lifetime in the process!" she wrote. "To every Batgirl fan — THANK YOU for the love and belief, allowing me to take on the cape and become, as Babs said best, 'my own damn hero!' #Batgirl for life!"

She's not the only "Batgirl" member who's since expressed grievances over the film's shuttering. On Aug. 3, 2022, El Arbi and Fallah responded to the movie's cancellation in a since-deleted Instagram post. "We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can't believe it," they wrote. "As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves . . . it was a privilege and an honor to have been a part of the DCEU, even if it was for a brief moment." They concluded their response by signing off with "Batgirl For Life."

On Aug. 25, "Batgirl" actor Ivory Aquino, who played Grace's onscreen best friend, Alysia Yeoh, tweeted an emotional letter addressed to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslov regarding his company's decision to allegedly delete the movie's footage, Variety reported. "Dear Mr. Zaslav, 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," she wrote. Aquino's 12-tweet thread concluded with her writing: "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."

What Was "Batgirl" Supposed to Be About?

According to Variety, "Batgirl" got the green light from Warner Bros. in 2021 as part of a companywide effort to produce films strictly for HBO Max. It was first announced back in 2017, but the film later brought on a brand-new production team, Deadline previously reported — which included El Arbi, Fallah, and Christina Hodson as its screenwriter. Grace was set to portray the film's titular character, as she beat out contenders like Isabela Merced, Zoey Deutch, and Haley Lu Richardson for the leading role.

The superhero movie was set to revolve around Barbara Gordon as Batgirl and dive into her journey of self-discovery. "What's kind of funny about Barbara [Gordon] and Batgirl is that in this story, she's discovering Batgirl for the first time," Hodson said during the "Batgirl" panel at DC's 2021 FanDome, according to IGN. "So she's getting to explore a duality she's always had in her personality, but it's this whole new side of her personality, a side that's more daring and slightly less normal side of her that we just get to have fun and play with."

Why Did "Batgirl" Get Canceled?

Before "Batgirl" was canceled by Warner Bros. last year, the film was expected to debut exclusively on HBO Max. In August 2022, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the surprising development followed a change in leadership at Warner Bros. Discovery, as Zaslav pivoted to prioritizing theatrical features over straight-to-streaming releases as a cost-cutting measure.

The outlet also reported that insiders said the big-budget HBO Max films made for streaming "no longer make sense" under the company's new regime, which recently shut down a merger of HBO Max and Discovery+, per Deadline. Since the unfortunate "Batgirl" news broke, dozens of other HBO Max streaming-exclusive films and TV shows have been quietly removed from the platform.

If "Batgirl" had seen the light of day, DC fans would've gotten a closer look at Grace in her Batgirl gear beyond the first-look image she shared on social media on Jan. 14.

Read Grace and Aquino's statements about "Batgirl"'s cancellation ahead.