Directors of Cancelled Batgirl Were ‘Sad’ After Seeing The Flash Movie, Still Feel There Is ‘Unfinished Business’

Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah “were sad” after seeing The Flash movie, which — once upon a time! — was to have been released ahead of their since-cancelled Batgirl movie.

Batgirl, as reported in August 2022, was done filming but awaiting the addition of visual effects. Originally developed as an exclusive release for what was then known as HBO Max, the DC film instead wound up with no showcase of any kind when Warner Bros. Discovery pivoted away from straight-to-streaming movie releases and locked into a theaters-only model. As such, WBD decided to “disappear” the $90 million movie and use it as a tax write-off, as the company labors to pay down billions in debt.

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That film was not releasable,” DC Studios co-head Peter Safran explained earlier this year. [“Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David] Zaslav and the team made a very bold and courageous decision to cancel it, because it would have hurt DC. It would have hurt those people involved…. It would not have been able to compete in the theatrical marketplace; it was built for the small screen.”

The Flash movie, meanwhile, continued to speed toward a June 2023 release date, despite the fact that headliner Ezra Miller in recent years has been the subject of multiple investigations and arrests pertaining to allegations of grooming a minor, choking a woman in Iceland, second-degree assault and other instances of disturbing behavior.

We watched [The Flash] and we were sad… we felt we could have been part of the whole thing,” Adil told Insider. “We didn’t get the chance to show ‘Batgirl’ to the world and let the audience judge for themselves. Because the audience really is our ultimate boss and should be the deciders of if something is good or bad, or if something should be seen or not.”

That said, “Our movie was very different than The Flash,” Adil added, saying that Batgirl had less of a fantasy element and was more grounded a la Tim Burton’s Batman films.

Adding salt to the wound, directors Adil and Bilall got to see Michael Keaton reprise his Batman role in The Flash — a thread that would have continued in Batgirl.

“It’s the biggest disappointment of our careers,” said Adil. Added Bilall, “There’s still a feeling of unfinished business.”

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