Brendan Fraser calls Batgirl cancellation “the canary in the coal mine”

·2 min read
Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser

HBO Max’s Batgirl movie has been killed in a way that somehow makes money for parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, and the people involved are—understandably—still lamenting the fact that their work will (probably) never be seen by the general public. Star Leslie Grace released a statement last month saying that she feels “blessed to have worked among absolute greats and forged relationships for a lifetime in the process,” with directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Falla also noting that they wished fans had been given “the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves.”

Now, in between plugging The Whale at the Toronto International Film Festival and tearfully accepting awards for his performance in The Whale at the Toronto International Film Festival, Brendan Fraser—who was supposed to play Batgirl’s villain, apparently some new take on an old bad guy named Firefly—has offered some new thoughts on the movie’s permanent(?) shelving. Speaking to Variety, Fraser said that “fans really wanted to see this film made” and that Grace is “a dynamo” in it.

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Fraser also pointed out that the movie was “shot and conceived for a smaller screen,” a reference to the argument that the movie was canceled for not having mega-budget, big-screen spectacle (he’s saying that it was never meant to), and he said that it has turned out to be the “canary in the coal mine” in terms of companies now reconsidering how much money they’re willing to throw at a project that will only ever be released on streaming.

It sounds like he doesn’t take the cancellation too personally, in other words (which makes sense, since he gets to ride this wave of appreciation either way), but he does say that he has learned to “work with trusted filmmakers” like The Whale’s Darren Aronofsky. (We imagine that’s just him buttering up Aronofsky and not him dragging Batgirl’s directors, since by most accounts it’s not their fault the movie isn’t coming out, but who knows.)