Batgirl star Brendan Fraser criticized the cancellation of the DC movie, calling it a “canary in the coal mine” due to the battle between streaming and the release of feature films.
During an interview with Variety, the 53-year-old Batgirl actor explained why he was disappointed:
“The fans really wanted this movie to be made,” he said. “Leslie Grace is a dynamo. The film was shot and conceived for a smaller screen. In this age that we came out of between the streaming service and the theatrical release, it turned out to be a canary in the coal mine.”
Fraser was supposed to play the film’s villain, Firefly, a disgruntled veteran who becomes a pyromaniac. Although Firefly was based on one of D.C.’s oldest villains, the character would have a brand new origin story.
Unfortunately, we’ll never see how Fraser’s villain develops. Batgirl was unceremoniously canceled back in August after the high-profile merger of Warner Bros. Discovery. So it looks like the secret funeral screening of the movie is the first and only time anyone will see it.
“What have we learned from this?” said Fraser. “Work with proven directors like Darren.”
Fraser recently stunned visitors to the Venice Film Festival with The Whale, a film directed by Darren Aronofsky that tells the story of a 600—kilogram man who is trying to pick up the pieces of his broken life. Viewers and critics have already appreciated his success. It seems that working on “The Whale” was a more positive experience for Fraser.
In addition to his recent acquaintance with the role of the supervillain Batgirl, Fraser also recently starred in “Fatal Patrol” — an unusual DC comics show for the CW, in which the former star of “Mummies” dressed up as Cliff Steele, known in comics as Robotman.
All DC movies and series affected by the Warner Bros. merger Discovery
As for the role of “the canary in the coal mine,” many DC fans worry that the cancellation of “Batgirl” could lead to other DC films being shut down.
While “Joker 2,” “The Flash,” and “Blue Beetle” seem safe, there are plenty of other DC movies that could be affected. And since Warner Bros. Discovery is still looking for its own Kevin Feige, it may be some time before we know exactly what’s going on with the upcoming DC tablet.
Want to know more about Batgirl? Learn about the #ReleaseBatgirl movement and why canceling Batgirl doesn’t make sense when it comes to box office receipts.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.