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Batgirl star Leslie Grace and movie’s directors respond after film’s cancellation

Leslie Grace has issued a statement after the announcement that Batgirl will no longer be released.

Grace, who was set to play the lead role of Barbara Gordon in the new DC film, shared a message for her fans on her Instagram profile on Wednesday (3 August).

“On the heels of the recent news about our movie Batgirl, I am proud of the love, hard work and intention all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over seven months in Scotland,” Grace, 27, wrote. “I feel blessed to have worked among absolute greats and forged relationships for a lifetime in the process!”

The In The Heights star also thanked all her fans “for the love and belief, allowing me to take on the cape and become, as Babs said best, ‘my own damn hero”.

Warner Bros shelved Batgirl, which featured Michael Keaton’s return as Batman, despite the $90m (£73.7m) film being complete.

Bad Boys for Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah had completed the film’s shoot. The project co-starred JK Simmons as Commissioner Jim Gordon and Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly.

“The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max,” a Warner Bros Picture spokesperson said. “Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance.”

According to The New York Post, the film has been totally scrapped due to a ballooning budget of more than $100m (£81.9m) as well as negative test screenings – and will no longer be released anywhere. A source called the movie “irredemable”.

El Arbi and Fallah shared a separate statement responding to this news.

“We are saddened and shocked by the news,” the duo wrote. “We still can’t believe it. 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 had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe one day they will Insha’Allah.”

They paid tribute to an “amazing cast and crew” who “did a tremendous job and worked so hard to bring Batgirl to life”.