Extremely large-area roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing on flexible substrates is ubiquitous for applications such as paper and plastic processing. It combines the benefits of high speed and inexpensive substrates to deliver a commodity product at low cost. The challenge is to extend this approach to the realm of nanopatterning and realize similar benefits. In order to achieve low-cost nanopatterning, it is imperative to move toward high-speed imprinting, less complex tools, near zero waste of consumables, and low-cost substrates. We have developed a roll-based J-FIL process and applied it to a technology demonstrator tool, the LithoFlex 100, to fabricate large-area flexible bilayer wire-grid polarizers (WGPs) and high-performance WGPs on rigid glass substrates. Extinction ratios of better than 10,000 are obtained for the glass-based WGPs. Two simulation packages are also employed to understand the effects of pitch, aluminum thickness, and pattern defectivity on the optical performance of the WGP devices. It is determined that the WGPs can be influenced by both clear and opaque defects in the gratings; however, the defect densities are relaxed relative to the requirements of a high-density semiconductor device.