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Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser break silence on 'Batgirl' movie cancelation: 'It's disappointing'

Batman and Firefly have some thoughts on that Warner Bros. Discovery decision...

By Josh Weiss
Brendan Fraser and Michael Keaton

Two of the biggest stars who were set to appear in HBO Max's Batgirl film have broken their silence on the project's cancelation at the hands of Warner Bros. Discovery, particularly its CEO, David Zaslav, who promised to slash $3 billion in corporate spending (Batgirl fulfilled about $100 million of that promise).

Speaking with members of the press after his Emmy win for Best Lead Actor on Monday evening, Michael Keaton described the move as "a business decision." The actor — who was supposed to reprise the role of Tim Burton-era Bruce Wayne/Batman for the first time in three decades — continued: "I’m going to assume it was a good one. I really don’t know. I don't follow it that much." Based on the purported "funeral screenings" held on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Keaton was less of a major player and more of a "pivotal cameo" as a retired Bruce offers sage wisdom to Leslie Grace's Barbara Gordon. Thankfully, Burton fans will get to see Keaton's Caped Crusader in next summer's The Flash.

Brendan Fraser, who had been cast as the villain known as Firefly (real name: Garfield Lynns), offered up his thoughts during a chat with Variety at the Toronto International Film Festival. "It's disappointing," said The Mummy star, now in the midst of a Hollywood comeback story. "The fans really wanted to see this film made. Leslie Grace is a dynamo. She's like a power Q-Tip, she just goes for it [and] she looks great in the outfit. The movie itself was shot and conceived for a smaller screen. In this age that we've come out of now between streaming service vs. theatrical release, it wound up being the canary in the coal mine. So what can we learn from this? Work with trusted filmmakers."

In another interview, Fraser made light of the cancelation when asked about future projects. "Batgirl," he said without missing a beat. "Oh..." He looked directly into the camera before bursting out into raucous laughter. The actor is currently garnering plenty of awards season buzz for his performance in Darren Aranofsky's The Whale, which centers around a 600-pound man attempting to reconnect with his teenage daughter (played by Stranger Things' Sadie Sink).

Based on the play of the same name by Samuel D. Hunter, the film currently holds an 82 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Bad Boys for Life and Ms. Marvel filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah directed Batgirl, which would have also featured the talents of Ivory Aquino (Barbara's best friend, Alysia Yeoh) and Snyderverse alum J.K. Simmons (Barbara's father, Commissioner Jim Gordon). Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey, The Flash) wrote the screenplay.

Looking for some sci-fi TV? Check out shows like Resident Alien, Brave New World, Project Blue Book, Eureka, Heroes, Intergalactic, and more streaming now on Peacock.