The Batgirl Directors Tried To Save Some Footage But Were Blocked

It's not every day that a project with a budget of near $100 million, two directors that are well on their way to being at the top of the game, an actress taking on a role that could be a career definer, and a legend returning to a role is canceled. The story of Batgirl is certainly turning out to be one for the books as more and more information continues to come out as Warner Bros. Discovery continues to flail in the wind by removing projects from HBO Max with no warning and canceling near or completed projects without telling nearly anyone involved. The mess has only continued to evolve as the month continues, and people are continuing to speak out. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the directing duo behind Batgirl, recently did an interview with the SKRIPT YouTube Channel [text and translation via The Hollywood Reporter] about the cancelation. El Arbi said confirmed that it wasn't a quality issue for the cancelation but a balancing of the books, saying that "the guys from Warners told us, 'it was not a talent problem from our part or the actress, or even the quality of the movie. … They told us it was a strategic change. There was new management, and they wanted to save some money."

Batgirl Snags The Director Duo Behind Bad Boys for Life
Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah at the Premiere Of Columbia Pictures' "Bad Boys For Life" held at TCL Chinese Theatre on January 14, 2020, in Hollywood. Editorial credit: Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro / Shutterstock.com

They went on to say that the mass amount of social media support from fans and the messages from directors was very "comforting" and that they "hope that one day the movie will be released, for the cast and crew." However, when pitched a similar situation to Zack Snyder's Justice League, El Arbi explained that the film was nowhere near finished and they would need some significant resources to make it happen.

"Before it's released one day, there would be a lot of work still to do. Just like the Snyder Cut," El Arbi said. "[Batgirl] cannot be released in its current state. There's no VFX, we still had to shoot some scenes. So if [Warners] wanted us to release the Batgirl movie they would need to give us the means to do it. To finish it properly with our vision."

That is both surprising and not surprising, a reminder that the infamous Snyder Cut needed a minimum of $30 million and eventually $70 million to complete, but it also might help get fans to have some expectations when it comes to seeing some footage from Batgirl someday. Not that Fallah and El Arbi have any that they could leak. In a report that came out yesterday that made it sound like the footage was deleted but turned out to be more of a translation error since this interview is in French, the duo revealed that they went to try and see if they could sneak any footage home. However, their access to the server was removed.

 "No, we have nothing! Adil called me and said, 'go ahead shoot some things on your cellphone.' I went on the server and everything was blocked," said Fallah.

"We were like 'fucking shit!'," said El Arbi. "All the scenes with Batman in them! Shit!"

So no, Warner Bros. Discovery did not delete the Batgirl movie, they just blocked Fallah and El Arbi like one would block an ex-significant other you don't want to deal with when you were the one who was toxic and was the cause of the breakup in the first place. To get the tax break that Warner Bros. Discovery wants on Batgirl, the footage cannot see the light of day, but that hasn't stopped leaks in the past.

The Batgirl movie had a hard time getting to the big screen, which is saying something considering some of the DC projects that have struggled over the years. It was going to be brought to the big screen by Joss Whedon before it was widely reported that he was a terrible person and promptly left the project. The movie picked up some new directors last year in the form of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, and it was supposed to be the first DC project to make its debut on HBO Max.

Back in July of last year, it was announced that Leslie Grace of In The Heights fame had snagged the coveted role of Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl. We got some minor plot details for Batgirl during DC FanDome and a piece of concept art. Jacob Scipio, who was one of the stars of the much better than it had any right to be Bad Boys For Life, joined the cast in an unknown role. J.K. Simmons is also set to return as Commissioner Gordon. We learned that Brandon Fraser would play the villain at the end of October last year. Though we don't know the exact villain, the rumors said it might be Firefly. Production on the movie recently started at the end of last year, and Batgirl was supposed to release at some point this year.

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on Twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on Instagram.
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