Why did Halle Berry’s Jinx Bond spin-off never happen?

Halle Berry is an American actress, former fashion model and beauty queen; who starred as the Bond girl Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson in the 2002 Bond film Die Another Day.

But were we not expecting a new film? Leslie Grace was set to star as vigilante hero Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in a planned film for HBO Max, but last year Warner Bros. made the shocking announcement that it was canceling the film entirely — even though production had almost finished. Batgirl, a completely finished superhero film, was scrapped by Warner Bros. back in August. A full movie! Just wiped off the slate.

‘Secret’ screenings of cancelled Batgirl movie were held by studio – reports it remains unlikely the public will ever see the scrapped $90m film, with the directors saying ‘it cannot be released in its current state’.

Warner Bros Discovery are reportedly holding a series of discreet “funeral screenings” for their never-to-be released DC film Batgirl, starring Leslie Grace, Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser.

A select few who worked on the film, including cast, crew and studio executives, would be attending the screenings this week on the Warner Bros lot in California. One source described them as “funeral screenings”, as it is likely the footage will be stored forever and never shown to the public.

Batgirl became headline news when it was revealed the new Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav had ordered the $90m film to be scrapped entirely, despite filming having been finished. Starring Leslie Grace as the titular superhero Barbara Gordon, JK Simmons as Barbara’s father, Commissioner Gordon, Fraser as the villain Firefly and Keaton returning to his role as Batman, the film was well into postproduction when it was canned, but still had a temporary score and visual effects.

The news spawned a worldwide reaction, with many on social media using the hashtag #releasebatgirl to call on Warner Bros to release the film. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and directors including James Gunn, Kevin Smith and Edgar Wright all voiced their support for the cast and crew who had worked on the film.

The decision to cancel the film was motivated by wider cuts at Warner Bros Discovery after the two companies recently merged, and is seeking to save US$3bn. If the film is not shown, Warner Bros Discovery can take a tax write-down as a money-losing project.

Batgirl has only been shown to members of the public once, in a single test screening.

There was a chance Warner Bros would make “the drastic move of actually destroying its Batgirl footage as a way to demonstrate to the IRS that there will never be any revenue from the project, and thus it should be entitled to the full write-down immediately.”

Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said they no longer had any copy of the film, recalling the moment they found they could not longer access the servers that held the footage.

“We were like ‘fucking shit!’” El Arbi said. “All the scenes with Batman in them! Shit!”

It was unlikely they’d have the studio’s support to release it in the future or that there could be an equivalent of “the Snyder cut” – Zack Snyder’s four-hour director’s cut of the DC film Justice League, which added an extra $70m to a $300m budget film.

“It cannot be released in its current state,”. “There’s no VFX … we still had some scenes to shoot. So if one day they want us to release the Batgirl movie, they’d have to give us the means to do it. To finish it properly with our vision.”

Halle Berry explains why she became a Bond girl for ‘Die Another Day’. Die Another Day may not have aged well, but it has its charm. The fourth Pierce Brosnan James Bond film, the 2002 action extravaganza was released to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Dr. No, which had impressed ’60s audiences with the cool charm of its leading man, Sean Connery. With four decades of 007 to compete with, producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Brocolli set out to craft a film that would make From Russia With Love look like an old episode of Dad’s Army. That meant bigger explosions, more chase sequences, and a new kind of bond girl. Cue Halle Berry.

efore Ana De Armas, Eva Green and Gemma Arterton, Halle Berry played iconic Bond girl Jinx, an NSA agent assigned to assassinate a rogue North Korean agent called Zao, who is undergoing gene-replacement therapy at the Alverez clinic on Los Organos island, Cuba. On the island, Jinx meets James Bond, who is also on the hunt for Zao, hoping that he’ll be able to identify the double agent responsible for his 14-month imprisonment in North Korea. One thing leads to another, and soon enough, they’re throwing baddies into plane engines, duelling with swords and generally kicking butt.

For Berry, playing Jinx was a chance to add a new dimension to the Bond girl. “I play the feminine James Bond,” she said in an interview ahead of the film’s release. “She’s the next step in the evolution of women in the Bond movies. She’s more modern – more intelligent – and not the classic villain.”

Opening up about her decision to take the role, Berry said “I was really excited about Bond because that’s a franchise that’s iconic. It’s a part of film history, really, so to be a part of that franchise was very meaningful to me. And this version of a Bond woman was very different than any Bond woman I had seen before.”

Sophie Ellis Baxtor, Salma Hayek and Saffron Burrows had already been approached for the role, but in the end, Berry won out: “When Barbara Broccoli came to me with the role, she explained that I would get to be a different kind – a new kind – of Bond girl. Which would allow me to be more active and sort of be… working alongside Bond in a new way, and that really excited me. But also it excited me too to reimagine that great Ursula Anders scene that was so iconic… in a new way and pay homage to who she was and what this series was really all about.”

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Stevie Flavio
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