A day after the surprising news that Batgirl will not be released, the filmmakers behind the project are speaking out.
“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,” Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said in a statement posted to Instagram.
On Tuesday, news broke that Warner Bros. Discovery was shelving the $90 million film, with the move coming after a change of corporate ownership and as CEO David Zazlav seeks $3 billion in cost savings. He opted to take a tax write down on the film rather than release it, according to sources, as his strategy is to refocus Warners on theatrical, rather than streaming, films.
Batgirl stars In the Heights breakout Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl — along with Michael Keaton as Batman, J.K. Simmons as Barbara’s father, Commissioner James Gordon, and Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly.
The filmmakers thanked their cast, “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.”
The filmmakers broke out with Bad Boys For Life and also helmed well-received episodes of Disney+’s Ms. Marvel.
On Tuesday, Warners released a statement explaining its move.
“The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max,” said a Warner Bros. spokesperson in a statement. “Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance. We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.”