Batgirl extra Jud Harron weighs in on the movie’s cancellation and how it has affected Glasgow. After passing through various creative changes, Batgirl was finally on track for its release on HBO Max, with the up-and-coming Ms. Marvel director duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah helming the movie off a script by The Flash screenwriter Christina Hudson. In the Heights actress was attached to play the titular Barbara Gordon, with the movie generating a lot of interest due to the involvement of J.K. Simmons and Michael Keaton, who were tipped to reprise their roles as Commissioner Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne/ Batman respectively. Batgirl was in post-production until early August, with many highly anticipating its release. But fans were taken by shock after WB announced that Batgirl has been shelved indefinitely.
The move unsurprisingly enraged people across the world, who quickly launched campaigns and petitions against the decision. But WB shot down all hopes of the move being revoked with a formal statement revealing that Batgirl was canceled by the newly merged conglomerate Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) as it seeks to course-correct the studio’s streaming release strategy. Since then, people associated with Batgirl and key industry figures have expressed their dismay at the decision, with El Arbi and Fallah expressing disappointment over not getting the opportunity to show their work and the amazing Gotham they had built to the world.
Now, Harron, who served as an extra on Batgirl, has shared her reaction to the movie’s cancellation with Greenock Telegraph, lamenting how her hard work has gone down the drain. Harron says she had never imagined a production this size would get shelved and also reflects on the repercussions the Glasgow community is facing as a result of the movie’s cancellation. Read what Harron said below.
“This is the first big production I’ve been involved in and it was a really great experience. It’s so disappointing that it has been shelved. When I heard the news I was really surprised. It was hard work, 12-hour shifts working through the night in Glasgow winter wasn’t the easiest. It was still a great experience for me.
The production took over so many parts of the city. I was filming scenes in George Square which had been made over to look like Gotham City. There were countless road closures and diversions put in place, so it’s understandable why so many people are frustrated about it being cancelled after there was so much disruption. It’s crazy to think such a big project can just be scrapped.”
The new comments from Harron shed light on the lesser realized reverberations of Batgirl‘s cancellation. While there is no dispute that the movie is a big loss for diversity in the DCEU, as well as a major missed opportunity for fans to see their favorite Gotham City heroine in a cinematic live-action project after 25 years, the impact of the film’s shelving goes way beyond that. For the cast and crew, their work on a hotly-anticipated superhero IP was an important career move with which they wished to polish up their resumes. For many like Harron, it was their first big break – a vehicle to launch their careers in the entertainment industry. But alas, with WBD’s shocking decision, their dreams have been crushed, and the time many used to build their careers has been put to waste.
The social and communal impacts of Batgirl‘s cancellation are not immediately talked about, but Harron made sure to draw attention toward the bigger picture, showing the regrettable extent of the damage. The road and shop closures led Glasgow business owners to lose sales and clients where the movie was being filmed, and although the Glasgow City Council had offered a £150,000 incentive as compensation to accommodate for the losses, the sum has not yet been distributed to those affected, in part due to the movie’s cancellation. Batgirl was one of Hollywood’s first major movies to be shot entirely in Glasgow, and with collaboration with the Glasgow film office, it was meant to set a trend for projects to be filmed in the city, which would help promote tourism. But the movie’s cancellation has wasted those plans, jeopardizing the future of Hollywood productions in Scotland.
Source: Greenock Telegraph