Just like its titular hero, Batgirl never gives up. The movie was infamously canceled by Warner Bros. Discovery president David Zaslav right as it neared completion and buried under legal stipulations that would prevent it from ever being screened in theaters. But leaks and fan-made tributes to the film continue unabated, revealing massive interest for a movie that Zaslav determined would be better served as a $90 million tax write-off.
Now we have a new leak, and it’s one of the most compelling yet. The clip originally comes from the Instagram account of stunt person Emely Cartagena (then tweeted by actor Ivory Aquino), who doubled for Batgirl star Leslie Grace during action sequences. It shows Cartagena as Batgirl leaping from a ledge, doing a wobbly flip, and landing on a bright red Christmas tree, where she brings the whole thing down in front of fleeing partygoers.
As impressive as the stunt looks, it’s even better when viewed through the camera of directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Working with cinematographer John Mathieson, the duo pulls out as Cartagena completes the stunt, moving from a frame shot of partygoers looking up at Batgirl to the viewer looking down at her from above.
To be sure, the complexity of the leaked footage confirms the directors’ earlier insistence that the movie, while near completion, was not quite ready for public viewing. El Arbi and Fallah previously indicated that they would need a budget near the one granted to Zack Snyder to make the film match their intentions. However, it also undercuts the biggest justification for canceling Batgirl: that it was not cinematic enough to justify its existence. Zaslav and others have insisted that the movie, designed to be streamed on HBO Max, looked ridiculous in test screenings and would diminish the brand. This clip — and El Arbi and Fallah’s work on Bad Boys for Live and Ms. Marvel — certainly suggests otherwise.