We finally have some intel on the role Michael Keaton’s Dark Knight was set to play in Batgirlwhile the movie has been compared to a pilot on The CW, the home to TV shows like The Flash and Batwoman.
Much has been said about Batgirl‘s shocking cancellation since Warner Bros. Discovery made the decision to scrap the $90 million movie. Now, though, we have some intriguing new details from a recent Twitter Spaces between Fandango’s Erik Davis and The Wrap’s resident superhero scooper Umberto Gonzalez.
The latter spoke with someone who has seen an early cut of the DC Comics movie and shed some light on what fans could have expected to see from Michael Keaton’s Batman.
“I asked how Keaton is in it at least, and I was told he was good. He’s playing Bruce Wayne/Batman age-appropriate, he’s got white hair when he’s Bruce Wayne,” Gonzalez confirmed. “And the kicker here is that his Batman is ‘retired.’ But he obviously pops in to help and advise Barbara Gordon.”
“He’s not really that much in it, but he has a presence when he’s in it, and it’s sort of a pivotal cameo when he pops in and out.”
This lines up with what we’ve heard about Keaton’s Batman lending Barbara a helping hand as she attempts to become a hero in Gotham City, though Keaton’s future beyond The Flash now looks uncertain. We know he’ll still be a big part of that movie, but it’s believed he’s already been replaced by Ben Affleck in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
As for the quality of Batgirl (which has been a major talking point in recent weeks), Gonzalez made a very telling comparison.
“It plays like a very expensive CW pilot. It’s not really a strong film, the tone is just very CW, lacking in depth, lighter, and more comic book-like, which is odd because Michael Keaton’s in it. It’s basically an hour , 40-minute CW pilot. With a pretty good action set piece at the end from what I’m told. And again, not the worst superhero film I’ve ever seen.”
Gonzalez would go on to explain that Batgirl was shot for television, hence why it didn’t feel cinematic. Comparisons to a CW pilot may seem harsh, but as many fans pointed out when that first look photo was revealed, the hero’s costume would not have looked out of place alongside characters like The Flash and Batwoman in the Arrowverse.
The chances of us seeing Batgirl are somewhere between slim and none, meaning we’ll never get to judge the movie for ourselves. It doesn’t sound like we’ve missed much, but it’s hard to believe it couldn’t have been something special with Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah at the helm based on their work in Ms. Marvel and Bad Boys for Life.