'Batgirl' makers Adil & Bilall 'stunned' by decision not to release film

'Batgirl' makers Adil & Bilall 'stunned' by decision not to release film
Directors Adil El Arbi and director Bilal Fallah. Belga / Hatim Kaghat

The Belgian directors of Batgirl, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, said on Wednesday they were “stunned” by their studio’s decision not to release the almost0-completed superhero film, with a budget of 90 million dollars.

Warner Bros. Discovery has chosen to shelve the feature film despite all filming having been completed. Subsequently, it will not be released in theatres or on the HBO Max streaming platform– available in the United States. The adaptation of the adventures of the DC Comics character, the film starred Leslie Grace in the leading role, alongside Michael Keaton, who once again donned the mythical Batman costume.

“We are saddened and stunned by the news. We still can’t believe it,” Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said on Instagram. “As directors, it is essential that our work be shown to the public, and even if the film was far from finished, we would have liked for fans around the world to be able to see it and understand it,” added the authors. two Belgians.

Much of the post-production work – the stage where, for example, the special effects are added – was already wrapped up. In a statement on her Instagram account on Wednesday evening, Leslie Grace (“Where We’re From”), said she was “proud of the love, hard work and determination that all of our incredible cast and crew tireless put into this film for 7 months in Scotland”.

“I feel blessed to have worked among absolute greats and at the same time forged lifelong relationships,” the actress adds. In their message, the directors, who notably signed “Bad Boys for Life”, paid tribute to the “fantastic actors” on the poster of the film.

“Anyway, as big Batman fans since our childhood, it was a privilege and an honour to be a part of (the DC Cinematic Universe), even for a short time. Batgirl forever,” they concluded.

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The studio’s decision stunned Hollywood, where film industry insiders assured that such cancellations were unprecedented for a film that has been almost finished – and has cost so much money.

“Batgirl” seems to have been the collateral victim of a change in strategy after the merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery. Warner Bros had planned to produce films intended to be released directly on the HBO Max platform. But this choice, justified in part by the need to bypass cinemas in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, was not unanimous, and the studios seem to have backtracked after their merger with Discovery.

“Batgirl” would have been considered too expensive for a streaming sector which is tightening its belt but not spectacular enough for the big screen, condemning it to be shelved, according to specialists in the field quoted by Variety magazine.

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