‘Batgirl’ directors ‘still can’t believe’ Warner Bros. scrapped their film

A woman with brown hair smiling in a black dress
Leslie Grace was cast to play Batgirl in a movie about the superhero that has since been scrapped by Warner Bros.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP)

The directors of “Batgirl” are speaking out after Warner Bros. abandoned plans to release the superhero film on HBO Max.

Following reports that the Burbank studio giant will no longer offer the movie on its streaming platform or in theaters, filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah issued a joint statement Wednesday expressing their disappointment.

“We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it,” the statement read.

“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.”


The DC film about the superhero sidekick fell short of what the company wanted for its key comic book franchise and no longer fit with the studio’s film strategy, sources said.

Aug. 3, 2022

The directing duo — who previously worked on the acclaimed Marvel series “Ms. Marvel” for Disney+ — also gave a shout-out to their “amazing cast and crew,” including “In the Heights” breakout Leslie Grace, who was set to star as the title character.

By the time it got the ax from Warner Bros., “Batgirl” had already wrapped production. The DC Comics adaptation cost an estimated $90 million to make.

According to sources familiar with the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly, the action flick didn’t meet the company’s expectations or align with the studio’s shifting film strategy. The high-profile project was originally greenlit as a straight-to-streaming title in an effort to boost subscriptions for HBO Max.

“It was a dream to work with such fantastic actors like Michael Keaton, JK Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Jacob Scipio, Corey Johnson, Rebecca Front and especially the great Leslie Grace, who portrayed Batgirl with so much passion, dedication and humanity,” El Arbi and Fallah continued.

“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.”


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