‘Batgirl’ co-directors denied access to completed footage


Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the co-directors for what would have been the “Batgirl” movie, can’t seem to catch a break.

Just weeks after Warner Bros. Discovery decided to scrap plans for the film starring Leslie Grace, the filmmakers said they could not access the completed footage. In a video interview with French film website Skript, El Arbi and Fallah said the newly merged media company “took everything.”

“Adil called me: ‘Film everything on your phone,’” Fallah recalled. “I went on the server and everything was gone.”

“We were like, ‘f— s—, all the scenes with Batman that we filmed were in it,’” added El Arbi.

Representatives for Warner Bros. Discovery did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.

“Batgirl,” which cost an estimated $90 million to make, was in post-production when Warner Bros. decided not to move forward with the film. In the Skript interview, El Arib said that Warner Bros. didn’t take issue with “the actress or the quality of the film.”

“They told us it was a strategic change, a shifting in the management,” he said.

Earlier in August, two people familiar with the “Batgirl” debacle said that the DC spinoff fell short of expectations and no longer fit with the studio’s film strategy.

“Batgirl” was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to Warner Bros.’ content shakeup in the wake of its merger with Discovery. Recently, HBO Max pulled the plug on a handful of animated series including “Batman: Caped Crusader.” The animated show, from executive producers Bruce Timm, Matt Reeves and J.J. Abrams, will be shopped to other platforms.

While it seems as if Gotham’s on shaky ground with Warner Bros., it’s worth noting that “The Batman 2,” a sequel to director Reeves’ film starring Robert Pattinson, is a go. Reeves will also extend his collaboration with Warner Bros., entering deals with both Warner Bros. and Warner Bros. Television. The director is also working on the spinoff series “The Penguin” for HBO Max.

During the interview with Skript, El Arbi and Fallah — who learned of their film’s cancellation during the former’s wedding in Morocco — shared that “Batgirl” is currently without VFX and lacks some scenes, meaning it “cannot be released in its current state.” And yet, the filmmakers maintain optimism for their project.

“We make movies and we make it for the audience, it’s not for us,” El Arbi said. “We just hope that one day the movie would be released.”


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