Following the news that Warner Bros. has been hosting “funeral screenings” for the Batgirl film that was axed earlier this month despite being 90% completed, Ivory Aquino has spoken out about the HBO Max project’s shelving. Addressing a series of tweets to new CEO David Zaslav, the actor opens up about the emotional past few weeks for the DC project’s cast and crew.
“I’ve found myself not being able to talk about this ordeal with anyone,” she writes. “I realized that no one, apart from those involved with the film, would truly understand what we’re feeling. And talking about it with my castmates, I feel, might be akin to rubbing salt on a still-open wound.”
The Warner Bros. Discovery merger has led to drastic changes within the company, including numerous other projects getting canceled at HBO Max and existing original shows and movies getting pulled from the platform. Significant layoffs have also occurred.
“I can only endeavor to understand how one feels when tasked with tending to the bottom line like you have,” Aquino tells Zaslav. “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 bottom line exponentially.”
Batgirl was reportedly axed because it would have been cheaper to take a tax write-down on the project than to complete postproduction and give it a marketing budget. Aquino goes on to underline how the recent news cycle has increased the movie’s visibility without a flashy campaign, imploring Zaslav to reconsider his decision. Given that Batgirl was set to feature the return of Michael Keaton as Batman, it’s hard to imagine it needing a huge promotional push in the first place.
If Batgirl ever comes out, it also co-stars Leslie Grace, J.K. Simmons and Brendan Fraser. Read Aquino’s full statement on Twitter.