“Batgirl” directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are shocked by the abrupt removal of their comic book tent pole. Warner Bros. announced on August 3 that it would not release the $90 million “Batgirl” in theaters or on the HBO Max streamer, despite the film being fully shot and in post-production. The film duo, best known for directing “Bad Boys for Life” and episodes of “Ms. Marvel,” responded to the film’s shelves on social media.
“We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it,” the directorial duo wrote in a statement. “As directors, it’s critical that our work is shown to the public, and while the film is far from finished, we would like fans to know about the all the world had had the chance to see and embrace the final film for themselves, maybe one day they will insha’Allah.”
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The statement continued: “Our amazing cast and crew have done an amazing job and worked so hard to bring Batgirl to life. We are eternally grateful to be part of that team. It was a dream to work with such amazing actors as Michael Keaton, JK Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Jacob Scipio, Corey Johnson, Rebecca Front and most importantly the wonderful Leslie Grace, who portrayed Batgirl with such passion, dedication and humanity.”
“In any case, as big fans of Batman since we were little kids, it was a privilege and an honor to be part of the DCEU, even if only for a brief moment,” the statement concludes. “Bat girl for life.”
Studio insiders told Variety after the movie was killed that Warner Bros.’ decision not to release the film was not driven by the quality of the film or the commitment of the filmmakers. Instead, the new regime at Warner Bros. Discovery that its DC superhero features are on a blockbuster scale, which “Batgirl” was not because it was originally designed specifically for streaming on HBO Max.
Variety also reported that a tax incentive was a driving force behind the decision to kill “Batgirl”. According to the report, “Warner Bros. will almost certainly do a tax write-off, which is seen internally as the most financially sound way to recoup costs (at least, on an accountant’s ledger). It could justify that by attributing it to a post-merger strategy change. However, this would mean that Warner Bros. can’t monetize either film — no HBO Max debut, no sale to another studio.”
Read El Arbi and Fallah’s statement about “Batgirl” in the social media post below.
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