Warner Bros. Discovery’s decision to cancel Batgirl is the most controversial one in a series of unpopular and shocking actions taken by new CEO David Zaslav. The only hope fans have of the movie seeing the light of day is a #ReleaseTheSnyderCut-style campaign, or something similar, but new information has just come to light that will really put any new campaign’s effectiveness to the test.
Recently, the directors of the canceled movie, Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi, gave an interview on the French entertainment YouTube channel, Skript. They talked about how they tried to salvage some footage from the film—or at least preserve the scenes with Keaton’s Batman—only to realize that Warner Bros has blocked them from accessing the server.
Batgirl Directors On Lost Michael Keaton Footage
Bilall Fallah: “No, we have nothing. Adil called and told me, ‘Go ahead! Shoot everything on your phone!’ I went on the server… everything was gone.”
Adil El Arbi: “We were [like], ‘F**ing shit!’ We did not [even] keep [the scenes] with Batman in [them].”
The Batgirl directors confirmed that the work was far from finished, explaining that they still had additional scenes to shoot. None of the footage had visual effect work done yet. So even if they’d wanted to, there was no way to release (or leak) a completed cut of the movie starring Leslie Grace, Michael Keaton, Brendan Fraser, and J.K. Simmons.
In addition, the directors add that Warner Bros suits had assured them that it was not a personal or artistic move, but only a cost-saving measure and a side effect of the company having new management, as Adil El Arbi explains:
“The guys from Warner Bros. told us it was not a talent problem on our part or the actress [Leslie Grace], or even the quality of the movie. We were right in the middle of editing. There was a lot of work to get done, so it was not like the movie was finished! Warner Bros. told us the cancellation was a strategic change, a shifting in management so they could save some bucks.”
Despite the bad news of Batgirl‘s cancelation, the directors have felt the love and support from fans, including those that spread out the hashtag, #ReleaseBatgirl. The feeling of support has also extended from fellow comic superhero directors:
Bilall Fallah: “First, when I heard the news, I was shocked. I did not know how to react. I wanted to break stuff, cry… But seeing all these support on Twitter and all… and even from big directors like Edgar Wright and James Gunn… sent us supporting messages…
Adil El Arbi: It was very heartwarming! We just hope that one day the movie would be released.
After the studio released Justice League theatrically, a campaign led by fans convinced the studio to eventually let the original director Snyder complete his version to be released through HBO Max. While the chances of Batgirl having the same fate as Zack Snyder’s Justice League are slim, lightning did happen to strike the WB bottle once.
What do you think about the cancellation of Batgirl? Do you believe the movie will ever see the light of day? Let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to follow The Illuminerdi on social media to be notified of more DC news and updates like this in the future!