Batgirl Director Tried To Sneak The Movie Out, But Found A Terrible Surprise

Batgirl is one of the most famous canceled projects in recent cinematic history and it looks like it'll never get snuck out.

By Joshua Jones | Published


Fans are still reeling over the sudden cancelation of HBO Max’s Batgirl project. The film, which starred actress Leslie Grace and was directed by Bilalli Fallah and Adil El Arbi, became a major casualty of the new shakeup at Warner Bros. In an interview translated from French, director Fallah revealed that his co-director for the project tried to get him to salvage some of the footage with his phone. However, all the footage on the server was gone, making the footage officially lost in the ether. The directors also confirmed they needed to shoot additional scenes, and almost no VFX was included. They confirmed even if they wanted to release it, fans would’ve dealt with an unfinished project.

New Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav was the one who decided to cancel the project. The announcement was made earlier this month, before Warner Bros. Discovery’s Fall investor call. According to The Guardian, the cancelation of Batgirl makes it “among the most canceled cinematic projects ever.” The film had a reported budget of $90 million. Despite the high budget and its entering post-production, the studio decided that it no longer planned to release it due to a mandate from Zaslav to make DC films theatrical releases only. Because the project had just entered post-production, much VFX needed to be done. Directors Fallah and Arbi also confirmed the project required a lot of editing.

“The guys from Warner Bros. told us it was not a talent problem on our part or the actress [Leslie Grace], or even the quality of the movie. We were right in the middle of editing. There was a lot of work to get done, so it was not like the movie was finished! Warner Bros. told us the cancellation was a strategic change, a shifting in management so they could save some bucks.”

Test screenings for Batgirl also were reported to be an issue for the studio. News outlets such as Collider, Rolling Stone, and others reported the film tested negative prior to it being canceled. A report from The Wrap claimed the film “simply did not work” and aligned with Zaslav’s new vision for DC. Variety reported that the studio decided to take a tax write-down to compensate for the film’s ballooning budget. News of Batgirl’s cancellation reportedly came when the directors were attending a wedding in Morocco. They were expecting to return to the cutting room and continue work on the project. What’s worst is that all of the footage featuring Michael Keaton’s Batman has also been lost.

While Batgirl most likely won’t see the light of day, star Leslie Grace could continue working with the studio. A report from Variety revealed that Warner Bros. Pictures Group chiefs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy were seeking to mend fences with the young star. There were rumors of Grace’s Batgirl appearing in another DC project down the line, but nothing is confirmed as of this writing. When discussing his overall plan for the DC films, Zaslav mentioned Kevin Feige and his work with the MCU. Speculation has run rampant about who could be the person overseeing the new DC initiative at Warner Bros. Discovery. Greg Berlanti, who oversaw the DC shows on the CW, was a name mentioned in the news recently. Berlanti has experience connecting comic book shows on television, but he has yet to bring that skill over to the theatrical screen.

Whoever the studio ultimately decides to pick, they will certainly have quite the to-do list. The next DC outing is Black Adam starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The project for months was rumored to include Henry Cavill’s Superman, but nothing has yet to be confirmed. One has to wonder whether the new person in charge of the DC films will want to bring back many of the actors hired in the old regime. Aquaman and Flash are coming down the pipeline, but those projects may be the last time actors Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller play those roles respectively. If the cancellation of Batgirl taught fans anything, it is that Warner Bros. Discovery is still trying to figure their DC slate out.