Fans and stars alike have been reacting to the Warner Bros. Discovery's August 2 decision to cancel Batgirl, a DC spinoff starring Leslie Grace from In the Heights.
Batgirl was intended to complement existing DC Universe films and incorporate a diverse cast of actors, including J.K. Simmons as Commissioner James Gordon once more, Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly, and Ivory Aquino as Alysia Yeoh, Batgirl's best friend, bartender, vigilante, and chef.
Aquino took to Instagram Friday to express her views on the film, as well as a few candid and sweet photos with the Batgirls cast and crew. Alysia Yeoh was also expected to make history as the first trans character in a live-action DC film.
A female-written female-produced film starring an Afro-Latina (angel!) and directed by Muslim Moroccan-Belgian wunderkinds (with a female assistant director) about a female character (as imagined by a female comic book writer) deserves to be seen and will find a way, Aquino wrote.
The mention of money by Aquino suggests that the films are on the verge of being defunct. Batgirl started out with a $75 million budget, but expanded to $90 million, still not quite as big as the $200+ million budgets of DC releases like Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The cancellation of Batgirls, which was apparently post-production and followed a sub-par showing with test viewers, is being dubbed a victim of a strategic shift by new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
The decision to refuse to release Batgirl reflects our leadership's strategic shift in relation to the DC Universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an exceptional actress and this decision is not a reflection of her performance. We are extremely grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts in the near future.
Whether it was a change in strategy, a spooked tax write-off, or another COVID-19 flaw, DC has lost the rare opportunity to portray a trans character for the first time on its screen.
Batgirl was a labor of love, we were ecstatic & eager to share with you all who have embraced this amazing character, and our fam of nontraditional underrepresented peeps the opportunity to show the world that ANYONE and EVERYONE can be a superhero, according to Aquino.