(CNN) — In spite of the fact that “Batgirl” won’t be seen by audiences, titular star Leslie Grace says she is proud of the movie and cautiously optimistic about the character’s future.
When the news broke last summer that the DC comic book film for HBO Max was being indefinitely shelved, shocking moviegoers and industry insiders alike, Grace revealed in a new interview with Variety published on Monday that she learned of the development like everyone else — from reading it in the media. (CNN, HBO Max and DC are all part of the same parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.)
“It was like deflating a balloon,” Grace said, adding that on the day she learned the news, “I was very much just taking it all in, but also so sure of the magic that happened — in my experience and what I saw in my cast, in our team.”
“I just really leaned on the beauty of the idea that I got to have this experience in my life,” she said. “Even though I would’ve loved to share that with the rest of the world, nothing can take that experience away from us.”
Grace said she and her team continue discussing plans for the future of the property.
“We were so excited about all the ideas that we had, because you can see long-term potential in the story that we were beginning to build,” she added.
Grace, who identifies as Afro-Latina, also expressed her desire for fans who were hoping to see her iteration of the superheroine not to be discouraged.
“Just keep going no matter what the obstacle is,” she said. “If you have a passion for something, don’t let anything that stands in your way tell you that you aren’t worthy, capable, or have the potential to fulfill what you know you’re capable of doing.”
Last August, a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement to CNN that “the decision to not release ‘Batgirl’ reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max.”
“Batgirl,” which had completed production and a rough cut that was shown in test screenings, was also to have starred Michael Keaton as Batman, J.K. Simmons and Brendan Fraser.
And while Grace acknowledged that the shoot had its fair share of hurdles, she insisted that “the film that I got to see — the scenes that were there — was incredible. There was definitely potential for a good film.”
CNN has reached out to both Grace’s team and Warner Bros. Films for comment.
The announcement of “Batgirl’s” fate came shortly after WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery Inc. last April, and amid Warner Bros. Discovery efforts to cut costs.
Grace mentioned that while Warner Bros. executives she had met with after the movie was shelved “weren’t really specific on anything creative” about the film, “when words are expressed very lightly about work that people really dedicated a lot of time to — not just myself but the whole crew — I can understand how it could be frustrating.”
A few months after the decision not to release “Batgirl,” James Gunn and Peter Safran were appointed co-CEOs of DC Studios.
The duo then began charting a new path for the studio, making more news-breaking decisions in the process. First, there were reports about the “Wonder Woman” franchise, the third installment of which director Patty Jenkins said remains in development but with an uncertain fate, and in December, Henry Cavill announced that his iteration of Superman would not be moving forward in any new films.
Gunn said at the time that choices for the DC Universe will be “based upon what we believe is best for the story.”
“Perhaps these choices are great, perhaps not, but they are made with sincere hearts & integrity & always with the story in mind,” he tweeted last December.