Batgirl Directors Adil & Bilall Address the Film’s Cancellation
Every single person who worked on HBO Max’s Batgirl movie deserves sympathy right now. However, directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah arguably deserve the most of it. Landing such a high-profile directing gig signaled a bright future for the pair when they came aboard the project last year. But now that they’ve had almost 24 hours to process WB’s decision to cancel the film, the directors are finally ready to speak up.
Warner Bros. certainly picked an inopportune time to give Batgirl the ax. The announcement came three weeks after El Arbi and Fallah garnered praise for their work on Ms. Marvel, which proved they were more than capable of handling superhero action. On a more personal level, the news also broke while the directors were in Morocco holding a belated reception for El Arbi’s 2021 wedding. As harsh as that is, the filmmakers chose to address the situation with grace and dignity in a new statement posted on Instagram.
“We are saddened and shocked by the news,” they wrote. “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 [if Allah wills it].”
“Our amazing cast and crew did a tremendous job and worked so hard to bring Batgirl to life,” continued the duo. “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.”
They also added a final personal statement: “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.”
Earlier reports claimed that WB scrapped the film based on underwhelming reactions to test screenings. But today, the studio released an official statement saying that a “strategic shift” regarding its upcoming DC slate is the real reason behind the move. Grace still hasn’t shared her own response to the cancellation. But she did re-share an Instagram video of a man on a motorcycle singing along to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” indicating that she’s taking this new development in stride.
Similarly, El Arbi and Fallah are dusting themselves off and looking ahead to their next feature. The pair’s latest movie, Rebel, had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival back in May. According to their Instagram stories, the film will hit theaters in Morocco and France later this month.
What do you make of the directors’ statement about Batgirl’s cancellation? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Recommended Reading: Batgirl and the Birds Of Prey Vol. 1
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