'Batgirl' Directors Statement on Canceled Movie: 'Shocked and Saddened' | The Mary Sue
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‘Batgirl’ Directors Issue Statement About Canceled Movie: ‘We’re Shocked and Saddened’

Leslie Grace as Batgirl in HBO Max's 'Batgirl'.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s Batgirl, a DC Comics film that was originally supposed to be released on HBO Max, has been shelved, even though the film was in post production with $90 million already having been spent on it. Now, the movie’s directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, have issued a statement about the movie’s cancellation.

The statement reads:

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 like a dream to work with such fantastic actors like Michael Keaton, J. K. 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.

El Arbi and Fallah also directed Disney+’s Ms. Marvel, the Marvel Cinematic Universe series about the teenage superhero Kamala Khan. The series quickly became one of Marvel’s most acclaimed projects ever, so fans are mystified about Warner’s sudden decision to ax Batgirl.

Although Warner Bros. has largely declined to comment on the news, a spokesperson stated that “The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance,” CNN reports.

The lack of information has led to a flurry of rumors about why Batgirl was canceled so far into production. According to Variety, Batgirl is a casualty of Warner’s larger decision to pull content from HBO Max and focus instead of theatrical releases. Batgirl was originally slated to go straight to streaming.

However, the New York Post claims that according to an anonymous source at Warner, Batgirl performed poorly with test audiences. The source supposedly called Batgirl “irredeemable,” but that’s exactly the kind of thing we’d expect to see the Post gleefully report about this movie, so we’re taking it with a mountain of salt.

Batgirl isn’t the only Warner project to be cut from HBO Max. Other movies that have been removed from the streaming platform include Moonshot, Superintelligence, The Witches, An American Pickle, Locked Down, and Charm City Kings. Warner also stopped production on the Scooby-Doo movie Scoob: Holiday Haunt.

(featured image: Warner Bros. Discovery)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) lives in Los Angeles, where she consumes massive amounts of Marvel movies, folk horror, and other geekery. Her writing has appeared in Joyland, Make/Shift, and other outlets.