“Batgirl” directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are “saddened and shocked” over the film being shelved by Warner Bros. Discovery.
“We are saddened and shocked by the news,” the filmmaking duo said in a statement released on Instagram. “We still can’t believe it. As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.”
They added: “Our amazing cast and crew did a tremendous job and worked so hard to bring Batgirl to life. We are forever grateful to have been part of that team. It was a dream to work with such fantastic actors like Michael Keaton, JK Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Jacob Scipio, Corey Johnson, Rebecca Front and especially the great Leslie Grace, who portrayed Batgirl with so much passion, dedication and humanity.”
“In any case, as huge fans of Batman since we were little kids, it was a privilege and an honor to have been a part of the DCEU, even if it was for a brief moment. Batgirl For Life,” they said.
“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. We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future,” according to Warner Bros. Picture Spokesperson.
Made under a previous regime, “Batgirl” was initially designed to be an HBO Max release, and then was being considered for theatrical distribution. Due to COVID issues and shutdowns, the budget ballooned to $90 million.
The movie stars “In the Heights” breakout star Leslie Grace in the title role of Barbara Gordon.
The leaders of the studio determined ultimately, in spite of reshoots and increased budget, that the movie simply did not work, according to insiders. The new owners and management, led by CEO David Zaslav, are committed to making DC titles big theatrical event films, and “Batgirl” isn’t that. Insiders added that studio brass loves the film’s directors and star, and are actively planning to work with them soon.