Brendan Fraser has lamented the “tragic” decision to shelve the $100 million film Batgirl, in which he starred.
The 53-year-old actor, who is currently an awards-season favorite with his role in The Whale, starred alongside leading lady Leslie Grace in the ill-fated Ted Carson/Firefly project.
Warner Bros scrapped the film – after it received poor test reviews. It was scheduled to air on HBO Max later this year.
Brendan told Variety, “It’s tragic. It doesn’t create trust between filmmakers and the studio. Leslie Grace was fantastic. She’s a dynamo – just a spot on performer.
“Everything we shot was real and exciting and the complete opposite of doing a simple green screen digital thing.
“They were driving through central Glasgow in fire engines at 3am and they had flamethrowers. It was a big budget film, but one stripped down to the essentials.’
Batgirl was first greenlit in 2021 as part of a company-wide effort to create feature films specifically for HBO Max, reports Variety.
It would have featured Latina actress Grace in the title role as she battled Brendan’s Firefly, who turned to a life of crime after being fired from his job, losing his health insurance and unable to care for his ailing wife.
According to those who saw the now-junked film, Michael Keaton’s Batman only starred in a few scenes — and didn’t serve as a mentor to Grace’s Barbara Gordon, and the costumes were subpar.
“I have to say I’m not too surprised that Batgirl was canceled as there’s a woke Latino Batgirl and Barbara Gordon in a story that sounds downright awful,” wrote Matt McGloin for Cosmic Book News.
A source also told the Post, “They think an unspeakable Batgirl will be irrecoverable.”
And Collider Editor-in-Chief Steven Weintraub tweeted: “I’ve spoken to people who have seen #Batgirl and they said it was a huge disappointment.
“Plus the costumes looked cheap, especially Keaton’s Batman costume.”
Executives also scrapped the upcoming Scoob! Sequel Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, which cost $40 million.
The filmmakers were told the decision stemmed from a “purchase accounting maneuver” available to Warner Discovery since the company changed hands earlier this year.
It allows Warner Bros Discovery to not carry forward its losses as it seeks to pay down its $3 billion in debt, Deadline said.
And as it tries to recoup its losses, company officials are moving away from its strategy of releasing big-budget films to encourage subscriptions to HBO Max and instead focusing on creating big-screen films that could compete in theaters.
In this way, executives from various production companies have decided that the films have cultural relevance when they appear on streaming platforms.
It’s a marked contrast to the Netflix model, which recently spent $200 million to create The Gray Man, an action film from the directors of Avengers: Endgame, which stayed at the site’s top spot for just eight days, according to Indiewire.
But to make Batgirl a theatrical quality film, company executives would have to spend vast sums of money to improve the film’s graphics and $80 million in worldwide printing and advertising.
The studio has already spent more than $100 million on the film Batgirl, in which Grace’s Barbara Gordon, critics say, dresses up as Batman for Halloween and then goes solo against terrorists.
Elsewhere in the interview, Brendan slammed Tom Cruise’s critically panted reboot of The Mummy.
The actor, who has starred as adventurer Rick O’Connell in three of the films in the hit series, said the 2017 box-office flop “lacked the fun” seen in 1999’s ‘The Mummy’, 2001’s ‘The Mummy Returns’ and “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” from 2008.
Brendan, who is a hot tip for awards season success with his role in The Whale, told Variety, “It’s a hard movie to do. The ingredient we had for our mama that I didn’t see in the new one was fun.