Leslie Grace rang in the new year by sharing a few new peeks at what was to be her big DCU debut, as Batgirl.
Grace on Sunday posted a video to Instagram (embedded down below) which recapped her year-gone-by, and it included several BTS photos/clips of her time filming Batgirl, which in August wound up getting unceremoniously removed from Warner Bros. Discovery’s schedule — forever.
“thank u for teachin’ me, 2022. you were singular in many ways that will stay with me,” Grace wrote, presumably alluding to the roller coaster ride that was to be her superhero debut. “my gratitude and love for life is much deeper thanks to the experiences you brought me. i take your lessons with me as we part.”
The Batgirl imagery included a first look at the title character’s final, upgraded, tactical Batsuit, as opposed to the leather-based outfit worn in the only previously available photo. There are also fuller looks at the leather suit; a snap of Grace with (presumably) Brendan Fraser in the Firefly costume; and a glimpse at some Batcycle stuntwork.
Batgirl, as reported over the summer, was meaningfully done save for the completion of visual effects — after seeing COVID-related delays inflate its budget from $70 million to reportedly north of $90 million. Originally developed as an HBO Max exclusive and at one point eyed to swoop into theaters, the DC film instead won’t get a showcase of any kind. Rather, Warner Bros. Discovery decided to use the movie as a tax write-off, as the company labors to pay down billions in debt.
Additionally, by some accounts the film was not testing well enough with audiences to instill confidence in Warner Bros. Discovery.
“We’re not going to launch [a] movie until it’s ready. We’re not going to launch a movie to make a quota. And we’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it,” WBD’s President and CEO David Zaslav later explained. “Particularly with DC, where we think we want to pivot and we want to elevate and we want to focus.”
“We have done a reset” when it comes to the release strategy behind movies of any kind, Zaslav said. As one part of that, he added — months before WBD would install filmmaker James Gunn and producing partner Peter Safran as the new heads of DC Studios (fka DC Films) — “There will be a team with a 10-year plan focusing just on DC… It’s very similar to the structure that Alan Horn and and Bob Iger put together effectively with [Marvel Studios chief] Kevin Feige at Disney.”