The directors of Batgirl said Wednesday they were “shocked” that the $90 million dollar superhero film had been axed by the studio and will now not be released in any format.
Warner Bros. Discovery announced they were shelving the movie adaptation of the DC Comics character, which was to star Leslie Grace in the title role, alongside Michael Keaton as Batman, preventing it from being seen in either theaters or on streaming platform HBO Max.
“We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it,” directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah wrote on Instagram.
“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.”
The movie had completed principal photography and much of the post-production work – where special effects, sound, and graphics are added – was also done.
Star Grace (In the Heights) had told interviewers how excited she was to have landed the role, and how thrilled she was to be working with Keaton and other luminaries.
Her efforts were applauded by El Arbi and Fallah, who described themselves as “huge fans of Batman since we were little kids.”
“It was a dream to work with such fantastic actors like Michael Keaton, J.K. Simmons, Brendan Fraser… and especially the great Leslie Grace, who portrayed Batgirl with so much passion, dedication, and humanity,” the Bad Boys for Life directing duo added.
The move sent shockwaves through Hollywood, where industry veterans said it was unprecedented for a movie to be so close to completion – and with so much money already spent – and not be released.
Batgirl appears to have fallen victim to a change in corporate strategy after a merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery.