Batgirl Directors Look Back On Traumatic Cancellation
They felt the cancellation was more than surprising.
Former Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah recently talked about their optimism about someday, in some way, fans will be able to see the first live-action Batgirl movie with Leslie Grace in the titular role. They've confirmed that meetings with James Gunn, newly-made co-head of DC Films, have occurred, but with the movie's fate still aetherial, the two opened up about the traumatic experience of the movie getting canceled in the first place.
"At that time, it was pretty unprecedented, so it was like movie history, but in a crazy way," El Arbi told Deadline during a press event for their new film, Rebel. He continued by saying that there's nothing that they could do to coax WB Discovery into releasing the film at the moment. He did theorize that the current comeback success of Brendan Fraser with The Whale, who played the villainous pyromaniac Firefly, could boost Batgirl's chances of resurrection.
"Should it maybe be released, there’s still a lot of work to be done and I don't know if they are really going to go back for that," he said.
"We got so much support from the whole industry from directors to screenwriters to studio people that really supported us through this really difficult time," Fallah added. " We felt that we were not alone, and that's positive."
Batgirl was canceled after it had just begun the first stage of editing and still needed a lot more work, Arbi said, but it had completed filming. The move reportedly came as a result of Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav wanting to refocus on theatrical releases just a couple of years after Warner Bros. shattered the theatrical mold and began releasing films to HBO Max and theaters day-and-date to combat COVID-related theatrical shortcomings.
A similar situation arose with Zack Snyder's Justice League where the director had posted how the movie was almost done after being told it would never be released. The four-part movie was eventually released on HBO Max after the studio gave Snyder an additional $70 million to finish completion, a move they later regretted.
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