The recently shelved DC Comics film Batgirl reportedly contains a reference to Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman. News about Batgirl has been circling since Warner Bros. decided to shelve the film, which was said to be almost finished with $90 million already sunk into production. The unprecedented move looks to be for a tax write-off but has left the creative team in shock over the decision.
Batgirl was being produced for an HBO Max release with directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who previously co-directed Bad Boys for Life and episodes of Ms. Marvel. Leslie Grace plays Barbara Gordon/Batgirl alongside J.K. Simmons, who was returning to the role of Commissioner Gordon after first playing the character Justice League. Brendan Fraser was also playing Firefly, a villain role that was intended to be expanded upon in other projects. The film also had the distinction of featuring Michael Keaton as Batman, which DC films have been working toward, with Keaton also appearing in The Flash. And Batgirl was set to have another fun nod to Keaton's Batman universe had it been released.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
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On The Town with Matthew Belloni podcast, which discussed the decision to shelve Batgirl in detail, various aspects of the film seen in test screenings came to light. During a discussion with THR's Borys Kit, Belloni mentions that Batgirl had a small moment that would've shown Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman mask, which she wore while portraying the character in 1992's Batman Returns. The host quickly clarified that Pfeiffer isn't in the film, but it was intended to be an Easter egg for fans. Check out the Batgirl discussion about Pfeiffer's Catwoman below:
Matthew Belloni: "They do show Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman mask, which I think is something that fans--"
Borys Kit: "A nice Easter egg, yeah."
Belloni: "Yeah, a nice little Easter egg. Although Michelle Pfeiffer is not in the movie."
Pfeiffer only portrayed Catwoman a single time under the direction of Tim Burton. And while there may have been plans to include her in a future film, much like the seemingly grandiose plans with Keaton's Batman, the state of DC films feels troubled, making grand sweeps in an attempt to course correct their franchises. With Batgirl shelved, Keaton cut from Aquaman 2, and The Flash plagued with PR problems, Keaton's Batman also looks to be struggling to get back to the screen.
DC films have had a long struggle over the past several years, going back as far as Batman v. Superman and the nightmarish production of Justice League. More recently, they've shuffled the release schedule for films like Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, while also navigating the PR problems of The Flash star Ezra Miller. While Warner Bros. reportedly has new plans for DC films moving forward over the next decade, shelving Batgirl is still seen as drastic and likely to displease fans, leaving many heroes in flux.