Batgirl directors 'shocked and saddened' by DC film's cancellation: 'We still can't believe it'

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Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have responded after Warner Bros. suddenly shelved their upcoming DC Comics adaptation after filming had completed.

"We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can't believe it," the pair wrote in a joint statement on Instagram. "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 went on to thank the cast and crew for a "tremendous job" and credited them for working "so hard to bring Batgirl to life," despite the studio's alternate plans. Though they praise supporting stars like Batman series actor Michael Keaton, J.K. Simmons (Commissioner Gordon), Brendan Fraser (who would've played the villainous Firefly), Jacob Scipio, Corey Johnson, and Rebecca Front, they singled out the film's central performer, In the Heights' Leslie Grace, for her contributions to the project.

"[She] portrayed Batgirl with so much passion, dedication, and humanity," they wrote. "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."

Batgirl
Batgirl

Leslie Grace/Instagram 'Batgirl' star Leslie Grace.

Batgirl got the ax Tuesday from Warner Bros., which also decided to cancel the release of its $40 million animated film Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, based on the Scooby Doo series.

According to the New York Post, test screenings for the film were received so poorly that Warner Bros. opted not to roll the film out in theaters or on HBO Max. It was greenlit at a $70 million budget, which reportedly grew to near $90 million after COVID delays.

The Associated Press indicated that Warner Bros. Discovery chief executive David Zaslav shifted strategy on film releases to trim costs, after previous chief executive Jason Kilar worked to implement day-and-date releases in 2021 by opening films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max, with Batgirl being produced solely for the subscription streaming service.

Representatives for Warner Bros. have not responded to EW's request for comment.

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