Batgirl actor Ivory Aquino has directly addressed Warner Bros over their controversial decision to axe the movie.
Earlier this month (2 August) it was announced that Warner Bros had decided to shelve the film due to a changing regime behind-the-scenes.
Since then, Warner Bros are reportedly going to screen Batgirl on its studio lot in Burbank, California, for people who worked on the movie, both cast and crew, as well as representatives and executives.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that Warner Bros would host the “funeral screenings” this week, before the footage is put under lock and key.
In an emotional letter to Discovery CEO David Zaslov posted from her Twitter account, Aqunio – who played Batgirl’s best friend Alysia Yeoh – has now begged Warner Bros to reconsider its rumoured plan to physically destroy the filmed footage.
“As one of many who poured our hearts into the making of this movie, I ask that this measure be reconsidered,” she says in the beginning of the letter, referring to an article which suggests that the film’s footage will be destroyed after a series of “funeral screenings”.
The actor also highlighted the movie’s additional worth as a “father-daughter” story which represents a “special bond” and explained that it had a special place in her heart after her own dad passed away.
“As much as I’ve tried my best to be strong these past few weeks, I’d find myself crying, for lack of a better term, from grief, and tonight was one of those nights.”
Aquino also detailed that she had turned to a friend for support on the cancellation, who’d compared the decision of the “head of the company” to “one large cog atop increasingly smaller cogs underneath”.
Aquino suggested that bosses consider that “little cogs should not simply be seen as widgets whose fates are determined by an equation to benefit the bottom line”.
“More than widgets, we are fellow human beings and artists who, when given the chance, can outperform the equation and multiply the bottom line exponentially,” she added.
She also plead for Warner Bros to reconsider their decision to shelve the film: “Consider releasing Batgirl. She’s always been an underdog and has nowhere to go but up.”
A letter to #DavidZaslav @WBD
Dear Mr. Zaslav,
I just read an article @THR about supposed ‘funeral screenings’ of #Batgirl and the possibility afterwards that the film footage would be destroyed.. if this is the case, as one of many who poured our hearts into the making of this
— Ivory Aquino (@MsIvoryAquino) August 25, 2022
The letter comes after a recent post on Instagram from the actor in which she wrote: “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) who forges her own path to uplift the lives of those around her including her trans best friend, deserves to be seen and will find a way.
“There is no price tag on that.”
The directors of the film were said to have found out about Warner Bros’ decision to cancel the film’s release at the same time that the rest of the world did.
Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the duo behind Bad Boys for Life and episodes of Disney Plus series Ms Marvel, had already completed work on the film, which featured Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon.
Other actors who filmed roles for the completed but now shelved film included JK Simmons, who played Commissioner Jim Gordon, and Brendan Fraser, who played the villain Firefly. The film was also notable for marking Michael Keaton’s return as Bruce Wayne.
A Warner Bros Picture spokesperson said: “The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance.”
The spokesperson added that the studio is committed to working with the film’s directors and cast members on another project.