New details of DC’s cancelled Batgirl have emerged, confirming the role Michael Keaton’s Batman plays in the story and comparing the film to a CW show.
Following Batgirl‘s shocking cancellation at Warner Bros. Discovery, the film reportedly received “funeral screenings” on the Warner Bros. lot, leading to new information about the abandoned DCEU entry surfacing online.
The latest Batgirl details to emerge reveal the role of Michael Keaton’s Batman, whose place in the DCEU apparently differed from Ben Affleck’s Batman in a significant way.
Batman Returns For An ‘Expensive CW Pilot’
Heroic Hollywood’s Umberto Gonzalez recently shared feedback from a Warner Bros. insider who was able to see Batgirl in its unfinished form at the “funeral screenings.”
The Batgirl insider confirmed that Michael Keaton’s performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman was a high point for Batgirl, with the actor playing an “age-appropriate” version of the character. Unlike Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne, whom Keaton was set to replace, this version of Batman was reportedly retired, briefly suiting up again to serve as a mentor to Leslie Grace’s Batgirl.
In an interview with Erik Davis on Twitter, Umberto Gonzalez said of Michael Keaton’s reported role in Batgirl:
“I asked how Keaton is in it at least, and I was told he was good. He’s playing Bruce Wayne/Batman age-appropriate, he’s got white hair when he’s Bruce Wayne. And the kicker here is that his Batman is ‘retired.’ But he obviously pops in to help and advise Barbara Gordon.
“He’s not really that much in it, but he has a presence when he’s in it, and it’s sort of a pivotal cameo when he pops in and out.”
It was also revealed that, while not terrible, Batgirl seemed to lack the scale and depth of other DC movies, being compared to a CW series. The CW’s DC series, such as Arrow and The Flash, while often telling stories that prove popular, have a decidedly less “blockbuster” feel than one would expect from a DC movie like Batgirl.
Discussing overall reactions to the film, Gonzalez revealed:
“It plays like a very expensive CW pilot. It’s not really a strong film, the tone is just very CW, lacking in depth, lighter, and more comic book-like, which is odd because Michael Keaton’s in it. It’s basically an hour, 40-minute CW pilot. With a pretty good action set piece at the end from what I’m told. And again, not the worst superhero film I’ve ever seen.”
These comments seem to line up with Batgirl‘s journey towards realisation, having started its life as a straight-to-streaming movie for HBO Max. While the decision was made to retool the DC movie for a theatrical release, with a bigger budget being dedicated to the film’s reshoots, it looks like it was too little too late.
Whether or not this justifies the decision to cancel the movie will be left to fans and the filmmakers to debate. It sounds like Batgirl had its strong moments, the return of Michael Keaton as Batman amongst them, and many DC fans would surely have liked to see the final product even if it wasn’t DC’s strongest film.
Here is the synopsis for DC’s next film, Black Adam:
Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the ancient gods—and imprisoned just as quickly—Black Adam (Johnson) is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra from a script written by Adam Sztykiel and Rory Haines & Sohrab Noshirvani, the DCEU film stars Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari, Quintessa Swindell, Bodhi Sabongui, and Pierce Brosnan.
Black Adam opens in theaters on October 21, 2022. Be sure to continue following Heroic Hollywood for all the latest news on the DCEU and the fallout of the Batgirl cancellation, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more original video content.