Warner Bros. has tapped Bad Boys for Life helmers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah to direct its DC movie Batgirl, which follows the adventures of Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Batman’s pal Commissioner Gordon.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news, adding that Batgirl is currently being planned as an original movie for HBO Max. Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey) wrote the script, and Kristin Burr (Cruella) is producing the comic book movie.
Joss Whedon was previously set to write and direct the Batgirl movie but he left the project after a year of development, explaining that he just couldn’t come up with the right story. Meanwhile, Yvonne Craig played the Barbara Gordon character in the old Batman TV series, while Alicia Silverstone took up the Batgirl mantle in Joel Schumacher’s garish opus Batman & Robin.
“With Batgirl, we hope to take the audience on a fun ride and see a different side of Gotham. Christina’s script is crackling with spirit. Adil and Bilall have an excited and joyous energy which is infectious, making them the perfect filmmakers for this Batproject. And I’m just psyched I get to be part of the DC universe, which is super cool,” Burr told THR.
Fallah and El Arbi strike me as a strong choice for Batgirl, as they just wrapped the Ms. Marvel series for Disney+. They served as co-showrunners on the Marvel series in addition to directing the premiere and finale episodes. Let’s not forget that Bad Boys for Life also ended 2020 as the highest-grossing film at the domestic box office. And sure, there was a pandemic that skewed those results, but $426 million worldwide is nothing to sneeze at.
The filmmakers were born in Morocco and studied film in Belgium. They directed episodes of FX‘s crime drama Snowfall and are currently in production on the family drama Rebel, which follows a 13-year-old boy whose life stands at a crossroads following the death of his father. I’m not sure what age Barbara Gordon will be in the Batgirl movie, but seeing as these filmmakers are coming off two teen-centric projects, I’d assume that the character will skew on the young side. No word on casting yet, but stay tuned…