Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are in shock over the abrupt axing of their comic book DCEU movie.
Warner Bros. announced that it would not be releasing the upcoming film in theaters or on streaming despite the movie being fully shot and in pre-production.
The directors took to Instagram to share an official statement.
“We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it,” the directing duo wrote in a statement. “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.”
The statement continues, “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,” the statement concludes. “Batgirl For Life.”
The DCEU movie was set to star In the Heights actor Leslie Grace as the titular hero, with Michael Keaton reprising his Batman role.
J. K. Simmons was set to reprise the role of classic Batman character Commissioner James Gordon. Also set to feature in the film was Brendan Fraser as Garfield Lynns / Firefly: A sociopathic pyromaniac and Jacob Scipio, Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, and Ethan Kai in undisclosed roles.
Originally set for a release exclusively on HBO Max, Batgirl was later moved to a big-screen debut long after filming for the bat-centric solo movie came to an end. Then, in the middle of Warner Bros.’ public merger with Discovery, the new outing had its release delayed until at least 2023.
Insiders say that big-budget films made directly for streaming no longer make financial sense under the company’s new strategy.
The reportedly $70 million movie (the source said the budget was actually more than $100 million), which was doing test screenings for audiences in anticipation of a late 2022 debut, would rank among the most expensive cinematic castoffs ever.
Batgirl wasn’t the only film on the chopping block, either, with Scoob! sequel Scoob! Holiday Haunt also canceled entirely.