Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah released an official statement on Twitter following the movie’s cancellation by Warner Bros. Discovery, underlining they were saddened by the news. Yesterday, Warner Bros. Discovery announced it was shelving Batgirl as the company moves to an exclusive theatrical release for all their DC superhero films.
Starring Leslie Grace as the titular superhero, Batgirl was initially scheduled to hit HBO Max sometime in 2022. The movie cost $90 million to produce, but even so, Warner Bros. Discovery decided to shelve the project after initial testing screenings. Although the company made an official statement blaming the cancellation on a strategy shift, some reports point out how Warner Bros. Discovery might use Batgirl for a tax write-down. That could be related to several original HBO Max movies quietly disappearing from the streaming service as the company tries to cut costs after their recent merge and consequent internal restructuring.
Batgirl’s cancellation took fans by surprise, but apparently, the movie’s creators were also not aware of the project’s cancellation until yesterday. In their official statement, the directors said they were still “shocked” by the news and underlined how it’s an unfortunate situation when audiences are denied the opportunity to watch a movie.
As the directors put it:
“We are saddened and shocked by the news. 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.
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. Batgirl For Life.”
Batgirl was written by Christina Hodson, who previously wrote Birds of Prey and the upcoming The Flash. While details of the movie’s plot were being kept under wraps, J.K. Simmons was returning as Commissioner James Gordon, a part he played in both versions of Justice League. The movie would also star Michael Keaton as the Batman, a role he hadn’t played for three decades since Tim Burton‘s 1989 Batman and 1992 Batman Returns. Considering how Keaton is also expected to show up as Batman for The Flash, Batgirl could have given us a glimpse of what to expect from the DCEU moving forward. Batgirl’s cast featured Brendan Fraser as Batman’s classic villain Firefly, Ivory Aquino as the transgender vigilante Alysia Yeoh, Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, and Ethan Kai.
The next DC movies to hit theaters are Black Adam, on October 21, and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, on December 21.