Batgirl directors respond after DC film’s sudden cancellation: ‘We still can’t believe it’

Batgirl directors have responded after the sudden cancellation of the DC film.

Directing duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, best known for their work on 2020’s Bad Boys for Life and episodes of Ms Marvel, shared a statement on Instagram on Wednesday (3 August).

“We are saddened and shocked by the news,” the duo wrote. “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 paid tribute to an “amazing cast and crew” who “did a tremendous job and worked so hard to bring Batgirl to life”.

The duo found out about the movie’s surprise cancellation days after the former’s wedding; they were expecting to continue editing the film when they returned.

The DC film starred Leslie Grace in the lead role of Barbara Gordon, and was set to be released later this year. It also featured Michael Keaton’s return as Batman.

“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,” the statement finished. “Batgirl For Life.”

El Arbi and Fallah had completed work on the film, which co-starred JK Simmons as Commissioner Jim Gordon and Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly.

“The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max,” a Warner Bros Picture spokesperson said. “Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance.”

It was announced on Tuesday (2 August) that Warner Bros had decided to shelve the film due to a changing regime behind-the-scenes. It’s been claimed the film was set to be released in cinemas, despite having been made for HBO Max, but was considered “irredemable” in the eyes of studio bosses.

However, according toThe New York Post, the film has been totally scrapped due to a ballooning budget of more than $100m (£81.9m) as well as negative test screenings – and will no longer be released anywhere.

The Wrap claims that Warner Bros Discovery bosses, led by David Zaslav, felt that Batgirl wasn’t the theatrical event film they would like their DC films to be as it had been made for a streaming sevice.

It’s also being reported that Warner Bros is actively hoping to work with the film’s directors and cast on another project.