Behind-the-scenes footage from the now-cancelled Batgirl film gives fans a glimpse of Brendan Fraser’s Firefly in action on the streets of Gotham.
An Aug. 5 post to the DCEUleaks subreddit of behind-the-scenes footage from the set of Batgirl. The video includes multiple shots of star Leslie Grace in action as the titular hero, as well as Brendan Fraser unleashing the villainous rage of Firefly. Fraser can also be briefly seen in plain clothes during the footage in between various stunt takes and preparations.
Development on the Batgirl feature film began back in 2017, with the Ms. Marvel executive producer and directing duo of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah being hired to direct in March 2021. This news coincided with the announcement that the film would be released on HBO Max. Despite the film’s $90 million price tag and near completion, Batgirl was officially shelved by Warner Bros. on Aug. 2, 2022.
The DC feature would have seen Grace’s Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, take on the threat of Fraser’s Ted Carson, a new version of Firefly, a classic Batman villain who first appeared all the way back in 1959’s Batman #126 by writer Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff. The film would have also marked the return of Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight, a reprisal that El Arbi shared a glimpse of on social media.
The decision to cancel Batgirl has come under great scrutiny by fans and industry insiders, with a previous report noting that “studio insiders insist the decision was not driven by the quality of the film or the commitment of the filmmakers, but by the desire for the studio’s slate of DC features to be at a blockbuster scale.” This came on the heels of Warner Bros.’ official statement regarding Batgirl‘s cancellation, wherein they explained, “The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max.”
El Arbi and Fallah responded to the news of Batgirl being canceled with a somber message stating, “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 the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves.” They also noted that it was a “privilege and an honor to have been a part of the DCEU, even if it was for a brief moment.”
There are currently no plans to release Batgirl in theaters or on any streaming platform.