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This Might Be The Closest We'll Get To Seeing Michael Keaton In Batgirl

It's been a brutal week of bad news for the cast and crew of "Batgirl" — with the $90 million HBO Max movie getting scrapped at the very last minute, sacrificed at the altar of the IRS. And for Michael Keaton fans, it marks the end of an eventful and much-anticipated debut for his version of the Dark Knight three decades after his last appearance in 1992's "Batman Returns." But fear not Keaton flock, because director Adil El Arbi has taken to social media to give us all a glimpse at what could have been for Keaton's Bruce Wayne in the axed "Batgirl" flick, which was expected to come out in late 2022 before Keaton's slated "The Flash" appearance (via Radio Times). Now it appears that this is as close as we'll ever get to seeing the legendary actor alongside Leslie Grace's Barbara Gordon. 

"We still can't believe it," said El Arbi and co-director Bilall Fallah in a heartbreaking Instagram post after the "Batgirl" cancelation was first announced. Now, in the fallout of Warner Bros.' shocking decision, the directors have decided to peel back the curtain on what moviegoers might have seen in theaters and on HBO Max, including Keaton in full Batman regalia.

Michael Keaton's Batman looks as menacing as ever in Batgirl

Posted on "Batgirl" director Adil El Arbi's Instagram, the behind-the-scenes photo shows 70-year-old Michael Keaton looking like his old "Batman" (1989) self while discussing a scene with Leslie Grace aka Barbara Gordon and El Arbi. It's likely the closest fans will ever get to seeing Keaton alongside the female Caped Crusader.

Speaking to Variety in an August 2022 interview, the "Birdman" star and 2015 Oscar nominee explained that he was extremely interested in playing Bruce Wayne following so many years away from the role. "I was curious what it would be like," Keaton said. "Not so much me doing it — obviously, some of that — but I was just curious about it, weirdly, socially. This whole thing is gigantic. They have their entirely own world. So, I like to look at it as an outsider, thinking, 'Holy moly!'"

Since the announcement by Warner Bros., members of the cast and crew of "Batgirl" have rallied around each other and offered kind words of support during this hard and unexpected situation. "I am proud of the love, hard work and intention all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over 7 months in Scotland," said Grace in an Instagram post

Reps at Warner Bros., meanwhile, offered up a hollow explanation, saying: "The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership's strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance" (via The Hollywood Reporter).