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Batgirl: Leslie Grace Loved Her Moments With Brendan Fraser on Set

Collider 1/30/2023 Ryan O'Rourke
© Provided by Collider

We're quickly approaching a high point in the Brenaissance. As awards season rolls on, and we near the Academy Awards in March, plenty of love and acclaim is pouring in for Brendan Fraser and his performance in Darren Arronofsky's The Whale. The fan-favorite star is now up for the Oscar for Best Actor, solidifying his comeback. However, he also nearly got the chance last year to return to the high-profile space he once inhabited with the ill-fated Batgirl. Starring Leslie Grace, the film was a casualty of the cost-cutting and restructuring efforts at the now-merged Warner Bros. Discovery and would've connected to the DC extended cinematic universe, even managing to bring in Michael Keaton. Had the film come to life, Fraser would've played the classic Batman villain Firefly opposite Grace's Batgirl.

During an interview with Collider's own Maggie Lovitt for How to Win Friends and Disappear People, Grace was asked about the sequences she most wished fans could've seen and, sure enough, they involved Fraser. While it was a blast for her to work on a film that boasted some impressive practical effects, the actress gave a lot of credit to her "sparring partner" Fraser for making it one of the more worthwhile experiences of her career. She noted how much fun it was to do fight scenes with him and all the care he showed her on set in between takes. The experience was something she plans to take with her as she continues her career, as she explains:

"I truly had one of [the best] experiences with Batgirl. In terms of the experience of shooting, we were all so excited for people to see a lot of the action, a lot of the practical shots we did with fire. Our movie was full of practical fire, which was really hard to shoot. Brendan [Fraser], our villain, our Firefly, he was just so outstanding and so happy that he's having this incredible moment—this Brenaissance as everyone says. He's amazing. He's one of the kindest people in the world, and I felt so blessed to have him as my sparring partner. We had so many amazing action scenes together where we were beating each other up, but hugging in between takes because he's just so sweet. So I would've loved people to see those moments, but you know what? You have the experience, and you keep on rolling, and I feel so blessed, all in all, that I have those memories and hopefully maybe in some future, some clips will arise and people will get to enjoy a little bit of it. But for now, we'll just have to keep it going as it going in comic folklore, I guess, with all of our memories and our stories while we can."

RELATED: 'Batgirl': Leslie Grace Reveals Photo of Final Costume

Fraser Has Been Vocal About the "Heartbreaking" Cancelation of Batgirl

It's a shame that audiences will never get to see the sequences Fraser and Grace shared in Batgirl especially since it seems both of them were so invested in the film and they both had a genuinely great time working together. Between Grace taking on an iconic role and Fraser embracing his comic book villain side, the film had a lot of promise, even if sources who saw it behind closed doors weren't particularly warm on it. Fraser, for his part, was disappointed that it wouldn't make it to HBO Max as planned, though he's expressed more dismay for Grace than anything. He previously praised the actress's work in the film, calling her a "dynamo" in the lead role as Barbara Gordon.

The sudden cancelation of Batgirl caught everyone off guard, including filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. It was an unprecedented move considering the project came with a $90 million budget, and it was very close to release. Not only did it rankle fans eager to see Grace, Keaton, and Fraser together in a film, but it drew the ire of individuals throughout the industry including the then-head of DC Walter Hamada who was ready to call it quits after the film was scrapped. Since then, the cuts have only continued across the wider Warner Bros. Discovery spectrum, though Batgirl still remains the biggest "what if" out of all of them. Aside from Grace, Fraser, and Keaton, the film was also set to bring back J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon while adding Ivory Aquino, Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, and Ethan Kai. All that's left of the film are behind-the-scenes snippets and Grace's costume.

At the very least, even if no footage of Batgirl sees the light of day, Grace seemed to find a lot of value in working on the film and Fraser was a big reason why. Stay tuned here at Collider for our full interview with Grace.

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