Batgirl scenes from the movie you'll NEVER see: Cast and crew are pictured on Glasgow set of 'irredeemable' £75m DC flick that's been canned after producers pushed their 'woke' agenda on superhero fans

  • Filming for Batgirl began in November last year, with residents handed earplugs for noisy nighttime scenes
  • Cancellation prompted fury from local shops, who are calling for compensation after months of disruption
  • It's emerged council officials provided production company with a £150,000 grant to tempt them into city 
  • Film's untimely demise has prompted critics to point to the movie's 'woke' character as a reason for its failure

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These are the scenes from the film you'll never see. Batgirl, a 'woke', big-budget film featuring a female version of the iconic superhero, has been dramatically scrapped to the dismay of the cast and the city of Glasgow - which served as a stand-in for Gotham. 

The 'irredeemable' movie was completely finished having cost an estimated $90 million (£75 million) and was slated for release on U.S. streaming service HBO Max by the end of this year. But feedback at test screenings was so awful that it was canned, making it perhaps the most expensive film ever made that will never see the light of day.

Hollywood stars Michael Keaton, Brendan Fraser, JK Simmons and Leslie Grace, Batgirl descended on Scotland's biggest city in November last year, with traffic re-routed, whole streets taken over and residents handed ear plugs and blackout blinds. 

Pictures of the filming suggested it was as dramatic as expected, with scenes of motorcycle chases, superhero battles and fiery nighttime stunts. 

Today, businesses forced to endure the noise, road closures and reduced footfall over the last 10 months called for reimbursement due to their sacrifices having been 'all in vain'.

And Glasgow City Council is now facing public anger after it emerged officials provided the production company with a £150,000 grant to tempt them into the city. Today, the authority insisted the movie had generated a 'very significant' economic benefit for the city despite never seeing the light of day. 

The film's untimely demise has inevitably prompted critics to point to the movie's 'woke' character as a reason for its failure.  

Batgirl's screenplay was by Christina Hodson, the British writer of ultra-feminist film Birds Of Prey, accused by one critic of 'hating on men — all men . . . [and] dull to the point of numbing'.

Batgirl also featured a transgender character, Alysia Yeoh, Barbara Gordon's flatmate, played by the trans actor Ivory Aquino. The impression, critics say, is of a film putting its 'progressive' values ahead of all other concerns. 

Batgirl, pictured here being filmed in Glasgow, will never see the light of day in any format. Pictured: A huge explosion filmed at the old Glasgow District Court on Turnbull Street

Batgirl, pictured here being filmed in Glasgow, will never see the light of day in any format. Pictured: A huge explosion filmed at the old Glasgow District Court on Turnbull Street

Leslie Grace, who played Batgirl, said she was 'proud of the love, hard work and intention all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over seven months in Scotland'

Leslie Grace, who played Batgirl, said she was 'proud of the love, hard work and intention all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over seven months in Scotland'

Lead actor Leslie Grace's stunt women in Batgirl costume filming action scenes
Brendan Fraser's stunt men who was rumoured to be playing villain Firefly

Lead actor Leslie Grace's stunt women in Batgirl costume filming action scenes (left) and Brendan Fraser's stunt men who was rumoured to be playing villain Firefly

A stuntman wearing a prosthetic mask
Fraser's stuntman after filming of a Batgirl scene

A stuntman wearing a prosthetic mask on the batman set (left) and Fraser's stuntman after filming of a Batgirl scene 

The film got as far as test screenings and was slated for release in cinemas and on the U.S. streaming service HBO Max by the end of this year

The film got as far as test screenings and was slated for release in cinemas and on the U.S. streaming service HBO Max by the end of this year 

Leslie Grace being filmed while standing on a platform in Glasgow city centre, which doubled up for Gotham City

Leslie Grace being filmed while standing on a platform in Glasgow city centre, which doubled up for Gotham City

Hollywood icon Michael Keaton was reprising his role as Batman, while Commissioner Gordon — Batgirl's father — was played by the actor J.K. Simmons (pictured), who starred in 2002's Spider-Man

Hollywood icon Michael Keaton was reprising his role as Batman, while Commissioner Gordon — Batgirl's father — was played by the actor J.K. Simmons (pictured), who starred in 2002's Spider-Man

Batgirl also featured a transgender character, Alysia Yeoh, Barbara Gordon's flatmate, played by the trans actor Ivory Aquino (left, with Grace). The appearance, critics say, is of a film putting its 'progressive' values ahead of all other concerns

Batgirl also featured a transgender character, Alysia Yeoh, Barbara Gordon's flatmate, played by the trans actor Ivory Aquino (left, with Grace). The appearance, critics say, is of a film putting its 'progressive' values ahead of all other concerns

Grace, a 27-year-old Afro-Latina singer-actress, had only had one previous acting role in box office flop In The Heights, a 'musical drama' made by woke hero Lin-Manuel Miranda, the man behind the musical Hamilton.

Hollywood icon Michael Keaton - who was seen touching down at Glasgow Airport on a Bombardier Jet - reprised his role as Batman, while Commissioner Gordon, Batgirl's father, was played by the actor J.K. Simmons, who starred in 2002's Spider-Man.

The film was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, young Moroccan-Belgians best known for the TV series Ms Marvel, about a Muslim Pakistani-American teenage girl who is bullied at school until she develops superpowers.

Last night, the directors of Batgirl said they were 'saddened and shocked' that Warner Bros has scrapped the film months before it was due to be released. 

And officials at Glasgow City Council are likely to be similarly dismayed, having provided the production company with a £150,000 grant to incentivise them to base the entire production in the city. 

They claimed it would create hundreds of jobs and increase the opportunity for future projects 'of a similar scale'.

Yesterday, the council confirmed the grant has still not been paid to Warner Bros and discussions are ongoing with producers.

Nick Williams, assistant manager of restaurant 13th Note on King Street, suggested the grant should be dished out to the businesses affected by production instead.

He said: 'It made it really difficult to get to this part [of town] because the streets were shut. Basically, we were empty on the days that the filming was on.

'The compensation wasn't enough to cover the losses for the two or three weeks that they were here. It seems like a kick in the balls, now it is all cancelled. It was just a waste of time and we lost so much business because of it.'

On Osborne Street, independent bakery Plantyful saw their street blocked off and portable loos set up right outside the bakery's door. 

The decision on the film — which was to be released later this year — came after test screenings were panned by audiences, and studio execs thought it would hurt the future of the brand as they seek to rebrand the DC Extended Universe

The decision on the film — which was to be released later this year — came after test screenings were panned by audiences, and studio execs thought it would hurt the future of the brand as they seek to rebrand the DC Extended Universe

The cast, including extras, preparing for an explosion scene outside the Gordon family home, in yet another moment that will never be seen by cinemagoers

The cast, including extras, preparing for an explosion scene outside the Gordon family home, in yet another moment that will never be seen by cinemagoers 

The film would have featured J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Jim Gordon
One of the film's action scenes

The film would have featured J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Jim Gordon (left). Pictured right: One of the film's action scenes 

Fans of Hollywood actor Fraser Brendan are devastated at the news the film has been cancelled

Fans of Hollywood actor Fraser Brendan are devastated at the news the film has been cancelled

Owner Aimee Jackson said: 'There was a generator for a few days during that period just running non-stop with fumes just coming in. It got really hard for us to work and to keep the door open.

'It was a really bad month. Completely devastating. We had to lay off our team here. I feel small businesses were just really disregarded in the whole month.'

Waxing salon Peaches on Parnie Street featured in the film and had to close as they dressed the exterior to fit into Gotham city. It meant they had to rebook clients and rearrange parts of their interior.

Owner Kerriann Angus said she was 'disappointed' to hear the film would not be released.

She said: 'Since Covid, we have reached out to the council numerous times for support and that £150,000 could have gone to the economy within the city rather than a film that is now not going to get shown. That's a bit of a sore one for us.'

Glasgow MSP Pauline McNeil said the push to make Glasgow more of a filming location had been an 'absolute fail'.

She said: 'It is not good enough that you'd offer up Glasgow without considering there might be significant losers over this. I mean these businesses were devastated anyway and then find out the film is not even going to get released.'

'There should not be financial losses to business and there should be high levels of engagement with residents, high levels of engagement with businesses.

'We need to put resources into that and we need to take time to spell out the benefits for the economy.' 

Warner Bros decided the reputational damage of releasing such a dud would be even worse than wasting the tens of millions of dollars it has already spent on it

Warner Bros decided the reputational damage of releasing such a dud would be even worse than wasting the tens of millions of dollars it has already spent on it

Film crew prepare the set of the new Batgirl movie in Glasgow. The news it has been axed is a blow for the Scottish city

Film crew prepare the set of the new Batgirl movie in Glasgow. The news it has been axed is a blow for the Scottish city 

Film crew on the set of Batgirl in the Trongate area of Glasgow on January 19. The news of its cancellation will be a blow to the city

Film crew on the set of Batgirl in the Trongate area of Glasgow on January 19. The news of its cancellation will be a blow to the city 

The directors of Batgirl have said they are 'saddened and shocked' that Warner Bros has scrapped the film months before it was due to be released

The directors of Batgirl have said they are 'saddened and shocked' that Warner Bros has scrapped the film months before it was due to be released

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah shared a joint statement on Instagram saying they wished fans could have the 'opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves'

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah shared a joint statement on Instagram saying they wished fans could have the 'opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves'

The directors of Batgirl have said they are 'saddened and shocked' that Warner Bros has scrapped the film months before it was due to be released.

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah shared a joint statement on Instagram saying they wished fans could have the 'opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves'. 

El Arbi and Fallah said: 'We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can't believe it.

'As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe one day they will insha'Allah (if God wills).

'Our amazing cast and crew did a tremendous job and worked so hard to bring Batgirl to life.

'We are forever grateful to have been part of that team. It was a dream to work with such fantastic actors like Michael Keaton, J.K. Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Jacob Scipio, Corey Johnson, Rebecca Front and especially the great Leslie Grace, who portrayed Batgirl with so much passion, dedication and humanity.'   

They added: 'In any case, as huge fans of Batman since we were little kids, it was a privilege and an honor to have been a part of the DCEU, even if it was for a brief moment,' and signed off their statement 'Batgirl For Life'.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: 'The filming of Batgirl brought a very significant economic benefit to Glasgow when the production was here, with 450 Glasgow-based crew jobs, almost 1300 Scottish supporting artists, and many subcontractors working as tradespeople and in traffic management and security.

'Any decision on the release of the production is very much a matter for Warner Bros.

'The £150,000 grant support has not been paid, and discussions continue with the producers.'  

 

Holy Wokery Batgirl! TOM LEONARD investigates why Warner Bros' $90million new superhero movie has been deemed so awful it will never be released

Night has fallen on Gotham City. Criminals and ne'er-do-wells are preparing to commit their devious acts. And now, there may be no one to stop them.

Batgirl, an apparently 'woke', big-budget film featuring a female version of the Caped Crusader, has been ignominiously scrapped — shocking the film world.

Condemned as 'irredeemable' by studio executives at Warner Bros, it seems that not even a lengthy spell in the editing room could rescue it. Nor was it good enough to send 'straight to video', as used to be said of films too bad for the cinema.

Despite being completely finished and reportedly having cost $90 million (£75 million), Batgirl will never be released in any format — not even on one of the internet streaming services that often seem willing to broadcast any old tat.

It may even be the most expensive film ever made that will never see the light of day.

The film had got as far as test screenings and was being slated for release in cinemas and on the U.S. streaming service HBO Max by the end of this year.

However, the audience feedback was so awful that — in an almost unprecedented move — Warner Bros has decided the reputational damage of releasing such a dud would be even worse than wasting the tens of millions of dollars it has already spent on it.

'It just didn't work,' said an insider. The decision is also a blow for Glasgow, which had stood in for Gotham City in the movie.

The Batgirl film has been 'canned' by Warner Bros. after spending more than $90m on the movie because studio executives want to move away from made-for-streaming projects

The Batgirl film has been 'canned' by Warner Bros. after spending more than $90m on the movie because studio executives want to move away from made-for-streaming projects

Given the low standard of so much of the content on Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming services, and the fact that superhero films have a fanatically loyal audience, it all represents a jaw-dropping failure.

But why was it cancelled so late in the day, and after so much time, money and resources had been spent on it?

Some have alleged the film may have been scrapped rather than released for tax reasons; Warner Bros can now claim Batgirl as a tax write-off — helping it recoup some of its costs elsewhere. However, that doesn't account for why the film was so bad in the first place.

And here there are certainly strong clues to suggest that Batgirl was only the latest in a long and disastrous line of Hollywood films that have prioritised politically correct values over entertainment. As Robin might say, Holy Woke, Batman!

Fans will remember that in the original comics, Batgirl is the night-time alter ego of Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City's red-headed police commissioner Jim Gordon.

The star of the film was a little-known Afro-Latina singer-actress named Leslie Grace. This alone was a big risk as 27-year-old Grace's only previous major acting role was in the box-office flop In The Heights, a 'musical drama' made by woke hero Lin-Manuel Miranda, the man behind the musical Hamilton.

Hollywood icon Michael Keaton was reprising his role as Batman, while Commissioner Gordon — Batgirl's father — was played by the actor J.K. Simmons, who starred in 2002's Spider-Man.

Batgirl being filmed in Glasgow after parts of the Scottish city were turned into 'Gotham'

Batgirl being filmed in Glasgow after parts of the Scottish city were turned into 'Gotham'

The film was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, young Moroccan-Belgians best known for the TV series Ms Marvel, about a Muslim Pakistani-American teenage girl who is bullied at school until she develops superpowers.

When Ms Marvel was released in June, it received a tsunami of abuse from comic book fans complaining about its unbearable wokeness.

(The series is made by Disney, so progressive nowadays that it applies racism warnings to the crows in Dumbo and offers a children's show — called 'Baymax!' — which features a scene in which a robot asks a transgender man what sort of sanitary product he should buy for a 12-year-old girl.)

Batgirl's screenplay was by Christina Hodson, the British writer of ultra-feminist film Birds Of Prey, accused by one critic of 'hating on men — all men . . . [and] dull to the point of numbing'.

Batgirl also featured a transgender character, Alysia Yeoh, Barbara Gordon's flatmate, played by the trans actor Ivory Aquino.

The appearance, critics say, is of a film putting its 'progressive' values ahead of all other concerns.

And not for the first time. Superhero films — normally somewhere audiences might go to escape our era's endless culture wars — have increasingly become major repositories of wokery.

In 2021, Marvel's mega-budget movie Eternals — starring Angelina Jolie, Kit Harington and Richard Madden — was panned by fans and critics alike as dull and preachy. It included Marvel's first gay superhero and its first deaf one.

Lightyear, a spin-off from Pixar's celebrated Toy Story film series, was expected to be one of the biggest movies of this summer. Instead, it bombed.

Critics complained that it substituted liberal virtue-signalling — Buzz Lightyear's commanding officer is a black lesbian and the film features the first same-sex kiss in a Pixar production — for the simple, unpoliticised joys of the original movies.

By contrast, this summer also saw the release of Top Gun: Maverick, a barnstorming reboot of the wildly popular 1986 film Top Gun, an action film about gung-ho American fighter pilots. It has provided a sharp rejoinder to Hollywood bosses who insist their increasingly right-on output is just a reaction to changing audience tastes and social mores.

Tom Cruise's new film proudly re-treads much the same ground as the original Boy's Own-style adventure, featuring virtually no women, no let-up in the shameless machismo and no scenes in which pilots question their sexuality or their patriotic devotion to U.S. firepower.

The Batgirl film would have featured Latina actress Leslie Grace in the titular role as she battled Brendan Fraser's Firefly who turned to a life of crime after he is fired from his job, loses his health insurance and could no longer care for his sick wife

The Batgirl film would have featured Latina actress Leslie Grace in the titular role as she battled Brendan Fraser's Firefly who turned to a life of crime after he is fired from his job, loses his health insurance and could no longer care for his sick wife

In short, it's almost joyfully off-message with 2020s Hollywood.

Perhaps as a result, it's been a monster hit with critics and at the box office — so far it's the highest-grossing film of the year and, remarkably, given his long history of making blockbusters, even of Cruise's career.

With one recent exception — 2017's entertaining romp Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot — films with female superheroes as the main attraction have generally not been commercial and critical triumphs, whatever their diligent support for girl power. Many have been simply dismal.

The trend began as far back as 1984, with Supergirl, a feminist remake of Superman starring Helen Slater and with supporting actors including Peter O'Toole and Faye Dunaway.

This has notched up an execrable 8 per cent approval rating on the critics' aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

Catwoman, which arrived in 2004, scores only 9 per cent and regularly features in critics' 'worst movies ever' lists. The film starred former Bond girl Halle Berry as Batman's anti- heroine love interest (with superhuman feline abilities and a black leather catsuit).

The following year, Jennifer Garner squeezed into a similarly revealing outfit to star as Elektra, a supernatural assassin who has to protect an innocent man and his daughter. Nice switch of traditional gender roles there — except it, too, was a clunker, earning a dire 11 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.

When will Hollywood get the message that audiences should be offered what they want to watch, instead of being spoon-fed sour-tasting woke medicine?

No time soon, it seems. Looming on the horizon are two big-budget TV series — House Of The Dragon (a prequel to Game Of Thrones) and The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power. Both have gone through the wokeness wringer.

Game Of Thrones became a huge hit a decade or so ago precisely because it was so politically incorrect — endless, graphic violence broken up with plenty of gratuitous nudity.

House Of The Dragon will reportedly feature 'gender fluidity', a non-binary actor and barely any sex.

As for Amazon's £400 million Rings Of Power series (a prequel to The Lord Of The Rings), it has been accused of veering sharply from J.R.R. Tolkien's vision to feature black dwarves and hobbits, female orcs and powerful women characters that were never in his much-loved books.

Will they be as thrillingly popular as the original characters — or will they, too, slink into the shadows like Batgirl?

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Batgirl cast and crew are pictured on Glasgow set of 'irredeemable' £75m DC film

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