Batgirl Directors Returning To Warner Bros?
Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said they would be willing to work with Warner Bros. again in the future
Before James Gunn and Peter Safran were appointed co-heads of DC Studios, which was formed out of the ashes of the now-defunct DC Films, there were already several shakeups happening at Warner Bros. Discovery. One of those changes was CEO David Zalav’s decision to shelve the finished Batgirl movie; a controversial move that was met with intense backlash from fans. Of course, nobody was more disappointed with the film’s cancellation than Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. But according to Variety, it won’t keep them from returning to the studio down the line.
El Arbi and Fallah attended last month’s Red Sea Film Festival with their feature Rebel, a story that centers on two brothers from Belgium who join ISIS. While there, the Batgirl directors shared their thoughts on the project and whether they’d be willing to work with Warner Bros. Discovery ever again following the movie’s cancellation. As it turns out, the Morocco-born filmmakers didn’t take the studio’s decision personally.
After declaring their love for DC, El Arbi said he and Fallah would never turn down a future opportunity to “do something in that universe.” Of course, after the major blow they faced with Batgirl, the directors would have one stipulation, which “is that the movie needs to come out.” Their condition is understandable considering the seemingly countless hours cast and crew members pour into the making of a motion picture.
Development of a Batgirl feature film began in March 2017 with Joss Whedon (The Avengers) attached to helm the picture. Approximately a year after he departed the project, El Arbi and Fallah were brought on as co-directors, and the movie was confirmed to be an HBO Max original. Although the movie had entered post-production, with a reported budget of nearly $90 million, Warner Bros. Discovery axed the project due to the company’s cost-cutting measures and refocus on theatrical releases.
Shortly after the studio announced the movie had been shelved, Batgirl directors El Arbi and Fallah issued a statement, writing that they were completely “shocked” by the news. They went on to explain the importance of being able to show their hard work to audiences. The pair also paid tribute to the film’s incredible cast and crew, who they said did an incredible job bringing the superhero flick to life.
Leslie Grace (In the Heights) was set to make her debut as the titular character in the film, and Batgirl directors El Arbi and Fallah have praised the actress for bringing so much passion and dedication to the character. J.K. Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Jacob Scipio, Corey Johnson, and Rebecca Front also had roles in the now-canceled feature.
Initially, the Batgirl directors were convinced their movie would never see the light of day following its cancellation. Since the project was far from finished and they have no access to the footage, El Arbi and Fallah had little hope that the world would ever see their superhero movie. Of course, that was before James Gunn and Peter Safran were appointed co-heads of DC Studios, which is a move that offered the filmmaking duo a glimmer of hope.
In fact, El Arbi and Fallah told Deadline last month that they had a meeting set with Gunn, but they didn’t divulge any details. While it’s unknown when discussions between the Batgirl directors and the new DC Studios co-chairman will take place, fans can rejoice in knowing that the project may not be completely dead. With Gunn and Safran expected to make some major announcements regarding DC’s upcoming slate of films in the coming weeks, perhaps Batgirl will have a place in their ten-year plan.