In an Instagram post reflecting on 2022, actor Leslie Grace revealed a look at the Batgirl that might have been. Grace was to star in the film that was eventually shelved after the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger. It would have been released in 2023 but now will likely never see a release. Reasons aren’t quite clear as to why it happened but rumors point to the film not fitting the new vision the company has for films and/or it was more profitable to take a write off for the film than they felt the film would profit.
The video shows off multiple looks at the costume from the film that also featured the return of Michael Keaton‘s Batman and would have also starred Brendan Fraser.
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Though it is nearly completed Batgirl won’t be getting a release. Warner Bros. has decided to shelve the film which will not see it making to theaters or even HBO Max.
The $90 million production starred Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl and directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. The film was launched in 2021 as a focus on original films for HBO Max. The new regime of Warner Bros. Discovery has decided to focus on theatrical releases and felt the film wasn’t up to snuff for it. The films they are looking for are on a “blockbuster scale” and it was felt Batgirl didn’t reach that level. The film’s budget was smaller as it was original meant for HBO Max but the budget increased due to COVID delays and protocols.
There are many conflicting takes coming out right now though. Some say this doesn’t fit into the new focus. Some others have stated test screenings were negative. Others think this is part of a general shuffle going on with DCU movies. Rumors have it that Ben Affleck’s Batman is getting a bigger role in The Flash and Aquaman 2.
The movie was rumored to be getting a theatrical release instead of going straight to HBO Max so it being pulled even from that is a bit puzzling but the new regime seems to want to move forward with big movies going forward. The fate of the troubled film The Flash seems to be up in the air as well. It was noticeably absent from San Diego Comic-Con.
Batgirl also featured J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Michael Keaton as Batman, and Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly.
Now… countdown until #ReleaseBatgirl or #FreeBatgirl begins and plans change yet again.
Warner Bros. Games and DC have premiered an all-new gameplay trailer for Gotham Knights, the upcoming open-world action RPG in development by Warner Bros. Games Montréal. The video showcases new gameplay and custom cutscenes of Batgirl, also known as Barbara Gordon. A highly trained fighter and expert computer coder and hacker, Batgirl brings both brawn and brains to the team of knights. Using her signature weapon, the tonfa, along with a fierce combination of kickboxing, capoeira and jiu-jitsu, Batgirl can swiftly take down powerful foes twice her size. With dangers new and old on the horizon, Batgirl is more determined than ever to keep Gotham safe and protect the city from falling into chaos.
Gotham Knights is scheduled to release worldwide on Oct. 25, 2022 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC. Pre-orders will receive the 233 Kustom Batcycle Skin at launch, based on the vehicle’s first appearance in DC’s Detective Comics #233.
Gotham Knights features the Batman Family as players step into the roles of Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin, a new guard of trained DC Super Heroes who must rise up as the protectors of Gotham City in the wake of Batman’s death. From solving mysteries that connect the darkest chapters in the city’s history to defeating notorious villains in epic confrontations, players will confront an array of challenges as they evolve into their own version of the Dark Knight.
Although the character is overexposed in both comics and other media, TheJoker is one of DC’s most underrated current comics. It’s a multi-layered crime saga starring Jim Gordon, who has left the police force and is grappling with his need to take revenge on Joker while juggling a million other plates and forces, including clones in the last issue that came out. Arguably, the best installment of the comic was The Joker #5 with Matthew Rosenberg and Francesco Francavilla collaborating with series writer James Tynion that’s a worthy companion to Batman Year One thanks to its noir-like visuals and deep insight into the character of Gordon. The Joker Annual 2021 is the sequel to Joker #5 and is set during a, well, interesting time when organized crime is on the decline thanks to folks like Carmine Falcone being behind bars. However, there is still crime, but it’s mostly harmless pranks like the Joker robbing a Mexican candy factory with the help of a pre-Secret Six glow up Catman. But this seeming lull in the action doesn’t snuff out Gordon’s crusade to clean up Gotham, especially the dirty members of the police force, and these overt actions come back to bite him and only stoke the flames of his vendetta against the Joker any more.
The Joker Annual 2021 feels like if The Dark Knight and the 1960s Batman TV show had a beautiful baby, and this is definitely meant as a compliment. The comic’s tone is gritty police procedural meets pop art. With The Joker doing candy-centered crimes, Francesco Francavilla uses a fittingly garish color palette while going back to reds and blacks when Gordon is raiding warehouses or firing cops. His approach to storytelling is powerful and enhances Tynion and Rosenberg’s characterization like when Batgirl drops Catman from the sky onto a squad car while two cops argue if they should call her Batgirl or Batlady. Francavilla also shows the homicidal maniac hiding behind the clown when the Joker actually gets “serious” any time someone questions his methods adding a bit of shadow to his teeth and lipstick. His crimes might seem ridiculous compared to his modern appearances, but Joker does some real damage throughout the story and worst of all, shows Jim Gordon that he can’t have law and order in this city.
James Tynion and Matthew Rosenberg’s dialogue is a real treat in The Joker Annual 2021 with Harvey Bullock using blurred out expletives like a lethal weapon to Jim Gordon using pointed questions and contradictions to find out one of his men who is still corrupt. Bullock doesn’t have an arc like Gordon or especially Gotham City, but he and Barbara Gordon act as the voices of pragmatism and reality as fired police officers make great villainous henchmen. He’s portrayed as a high functioning alcoholic, and it’s presented as a personal flaw instead of a systemic flaw like the corrupt police officers. Tynion, Rosenberg, and Francesco Francavilla don’t go full “ACAB” in The Joker Annual 2021, but they do show how freed of their badge and uniform that police officers will do even worst things.
I do like how this comic shows that Gotham is truly a rotten system with the power vacuum of the mob leading to supervillains like Joker, Black Mask, Penguin, and Killer Croc taking over as well as firing all the bad cops at once having consequences like funding issues or them becoming Joker’s foot soldiers. In a highly stylized way, The Joker Annual 2021 shows that corrupt systems can’t truly be fixed from within, which is where vigilantes like Batgirl and Batman come in. However, despite helping against Catman, they spend most of the issue causing property damage and complicating Gordon’s police deployment strategy as he’s torn between 100% taking their side and following the usual protocol.
Francavilla draws Gordon with a look of consternation for much of the issue, and he really is over his head for most of the book struggling to balance cleaning up Gotham with being a father. Until she shows up with a bruise and isn’t in her bed at 2:30 AM, Gordon barely pays attention to Barbara and makes his favorite meal instead of hers while also demonstrating workaholic tendency. This workaholism completely obliterates his relationship with his off-panel son, Jim Jr., who is with his ex-wife in Chicago as Gordon won’t visit him although he has a lot more vacation time as a police commissioner versus a detective. Gordon’s decision in this matter ends up having real ramifications in future storylines, including The Joker. He tries to have it all and ends up broken with final pages acting as a grim punchline to his attempts to end mob corruption once and for all in Gotham. That stuff never ends, or why would we still have Batman and Batman-adjacent stories.
The Joker Annual 2021 is a masterpiece of day-glo crime storytelling from Francesco Francavilla, who can create tension from a flashlight or a cigarette butt as well as James Tynion and Matthew Rosenberg, who continue to flesh out Jim Gordon and his relationship with his daughter Barbara and the clown prince of crime. Like Joker #5, this comic easily stands on its own, but also adds context (Aka emotional scarring) to Gordon’s actions as he haphazardly tries to create his own system for taking out the Joker while keeping his soul intact.
Story: James Tynion IV, Matthew Rosenberg Art/Colors: Francesco FrancavillaLetters: Tom Napolitano Story: 9.0 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Brendan Fraser will be suiting up as another DC character as he’s joined the cast of the upcoming Batgirl movie. Fraser will play Firefly, a sociopath who enjoys torching things.
Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are writing the screenplay for the film. It’s expected to premiere on HBO Max. It’d be the first major DC film to skip theaters for streaming and is part of a major shift in DC and Warner Bros. plans for their live-action properties.
Batgirl stars commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara Gordon who dons the cowl to be Batgirl.
Brendan Fraser has starred in other DC properties playing Cliff Steele/Robotman in Doom Patrol. That character debuted in Titans.
Firefly debuted in Detective Comics #184 in 1952 and was created by France Herron and Dick Sprang. The character was originally a criminal that used lighting effects to commit robberies but was eventually changed to one obsessed with fires. The character has appeared already in live-action DC shows including Arrow and Gotham and also numerous DC animated series.
Reports have been coming out that Warner Bros. and DC have found their Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in Leslie Grace. Grace is considered a rising star after her breakout role in In the Heights.
The casting has not been confirmed but Grace has confirmed it herself on Twitter.
Batgirl currently is going to be an HBO Max release and one of the major properties to debut exclusively on the platform. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will direct the film off of a script by Christina Hodson. Kristin Burr is producing.
Generally, Batgirl is Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Commissioner Gordon who must deal with balancing the Gotham Police force and masked vigilantes in the city, including his daughter.
Batgirl was created by Bill Figner and Sheldon Moldoff and debuted in Batman #139 in April 1961. Originally Betty Kane, she later became Barbara Gordon in 1967. Gordon debuted in Detective Comics #359 in January 1967 by writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino. Others have donned the cape and cowl including Huntress Helena Bertinelli, Cassandra Cain, and Stephanie Brown.
The Hollywood Reporterhas the scoop that Warner Bros. has shelved two of its upcoming, and high-profile, films based on DC properties. Ava DuVernay‘s New Gods and James Wan‘s The Trench are not going forward at this time.
In a statment, Warner Bros. and DC said:
As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward. We thank our partners Ava DuVernay, Tom King, James Wan and Peter Safran for their time and collaboration during this process and look forward to our continued partnership with them on other DC stories. The projects will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future.
New Gods was a take on the classic Jack Kirby characters with DuVernay directing and working with comic writer Tom King. The film has been in development since 2018. DuVernay is working on the television series Naomi based on the DC character which will air on The CW.
The Trench was a spin-off from the blockbuster Aquaman. The horror-tinged film featured Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald on the script with Wan developing as producer with Peter Safran. Wan is still working on Aquaman 2 which will begin shooting later this year.
While these two projects have been shelved for now, they may happen down the road. It is believed the issue is there was no “natural” place to release the films in the current upcoming plans.
DC is currently focused on a multi-platform approach with films like The Suicide Squad and The Batman bleeding over into television with theHBO Max series Peacemaker and a show focused on the Gotham police department.
It’s one of two new comic book days! What are you all getting? What are you excited about? Sound off in the comments. We’re kicking off the day with a packed amount of news and reviews from around the web.