While it's the hope of all directors, talent, and creators that their storytelling will impact audiences and the industry, no one hopes for the kind of impact that Batgirl made upon its shocking cancellation by new leadership at Warner Bros. Discovery. Unfortunately, what made it all the worse was the fact that Batgirl's own cast and its directors didn't see it coming.
In addition to Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon, Batgirl was loaded with star power of the likes of Brendan Fraser, Michael Keaton, and J.K. Simmons. The film was also helmed by two rising stars behind the camera, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who were fresh off their success with Marvel Studios' Ms. Marvel on Disney+ and Bad Boys for Life starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
In the weeks following Batgirl being scrubbed from the studio's slate, the directing team commented on the news; and now, the two have opened up even more about their experience.
Batgirl Directors Share Emotional Video
Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have shared an emotional, heartfelt video on Instagram explaining their reactions to the DC film's sudden and controversial cancellation.
El Arbi, who was on his honeymoon when he heard the news, shared that he "didn't even realize that was a possibility."
Both directors made efforts to save the film's footage but were unsuccessful. While El Arbi called the film's editor to back up or copy the film, Fallah claimed that "I went on the server, and everything was blocked."
Not only was the film's cancellation tough to swallow, but not having access to what they had accomplished was, as El Arbi explained, "pretty harsh:"
"To see that the movie was gone and that we didn't have any access to the footage or weren't able to see it for ourselves again. That was pretty harsh."
As the directing duo noted in a previous interview, Batgirl was far from being done. Not only was the rough cut of the film missing reshoots, but it "just starting to really get somewhere with the post-production," and "There was no VFX."
Batgirl's Directors Are Moving Forward
In El Arbi and Fallah's video, the two had nothing but praise and appreciation for Batgirl's cast and crew, as well as those who have supported them in the wake of the film's deletion.
They also noted that audiences can continue to support them by watching their upcoming film Rebel and, as Al Arbi noted, "imagine what Batgirl could have been."
While Warner Bros. Discovery claimed the decision was the result of a strategic shift and rooted in a new standard for quality, given El Arbi and Fallah's track record thus far, it's hard to imagine that Batgirl was a subpar film.
It seems that the directors strongly believed in the standard of their work as well, especially since they tried so hard to save the footage and are saddened by the fact that no one, including themselves, will be able to see what they had accomplished.
While the two have been honest and transparent about their disappointment with Batgirl, they've also kept it classy. Hopefully, Rebel will be another testament to their talent and craftsmanship, and comic book fans will see these two behind the camera of another film or series in the near future.