Ivory Aquino Asks WBD CEO David Zaslav To “Consider Releasing ‘Batgirl’”; However, That’s Unlikely


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In the course of 12 tweets Thursday, Batgirl actress Ivory Aquino, who plays Alysia Yeoh, Barbara Gordon’s roommate and the first major trans character in a live-action DC movie, expressed her grief to Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav over the studio’s cancellation of the film, and pleaded with him to “Consider releasing Batgirl.

Batgirl

“Batgirl”
Courtesy of DC Films

However, despite news of rumored screenings on the Warner Bros lot, which some close to the film are baffled by, we hear that a decision to revive Batgirl is unlikely. Warner Bros Discovery has already written the production, budgeted at roughly $80 million, off its books, and for the studio to turn around and sink more millions into it is impossible from all accounting maneuvers.

In speaking with those close to the film about those on-the-lot screenings, some were jarred: They didn’t get an invite, not to mention the film has no VFX, no music track. “What is there to watch?!” exclaimed one source.

While Batgirl was shelved forever on August 2, the sting continues to permeate throughout the creative community. Is it worth for reps to commit their clients to Warner Bros movies if they run the risk of getting killed during post? That’s what’s on everyone’s minds, and is an uphill battle for the motion picture studio.

However, WBD’s killing Batgirl stemmed from various things: being upset with the early director’s cut and trying to maintain any kind of platinum prestige with the DC brand; taking advantage of an accounting trick as the new merger tries to reap billions in cost savings; and not disrupting the DC continuum that’s being laid out in the upcoming June 2023 movie The Flash. 

On Wednesday, Deadline told you first that Warner Bros is sending two titles, originally intended for HBO Max, to cinemas: House Party and Evil Dead Rises. Also, due to post delays and theatrical calendar opportunities, the studio shuffled the rollout of its DC pics next year, with Shazam: Fury of the Gods on March 17, followed by Flash, Blue Beetle on August 18 and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom on December 25.

In speaking truth to power, Aqunio tells Zaslav, “Tonight I finally got to talk with a dear friend here about these intense feelings who shared with me an anecdote which helped provide inspiration for this letter to you. They said the head of a company is like one large cog atop increasingly smaller cogs underneath. One seemingly small movement by this large cog may seem relatively tiny, but for those little cogs at the bottom, they can be spinning ten-fold and the effects can be seismic. I can only endeavor to understand how one feels when tasked with tending to the bottom line like you have. I can’t even begin to imagine what one in your position goes through having such great responsibility to attend to. I do know and ask, with something like Batgirl that’s a product of our hearts and souls, that the little cogs 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 actress also writes, “If a month ago, there wasn’t a marketing budget for Batgirl, I’d venture to say that that has been taken care of by the turn of events these past few weeks. We’ve been fortunate to have such amazing supporters since the beginning,from Glasgow where we filmed and from all over the world. Now, more people know about our labor of love and are eager to see the movie. I do hope you get to read this letter. Consider releasing Batgirl. She’s always been an underdog and has nowhere to go but up.”

Many in town consider the axing of Batgirl to be a considerable step back for Warner Bros when it comes to making movies and series about inclusion and featuring diversity in front of and behind the camera. The newly run Zaslav studio also unplugged the second season of the much binged and critically acclaimed Latinx comedy series Gordita Chronicles. 

On further being upset with the fallout of Batgirl, Aquino says, “My heart goes out to @LeslieGrace and our beloved directors and entire crew & cast who spent months dedicating their all to this endeavor. Leslie checked in on me the day we found out of the shelving and only had words of comfort and support. I’ve dared not ask since if she’s spent nights holding back tears like I have because she has had to be the face of our Batgirl family and has had to put on a brave face as a way of taking care of us the way she gracefully steered our film.”

See her full comments below.

Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said in a recent interview with French outlet Skript that the studio prevented them from accessing the pic’s footage after unplugging the movie during post-production. Deadline first told you that the duo first learned about the pic’s axing during El Arbi’s wedding in Morocco.


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