The day after David Zaslav-led Warner Bros. Discovery completely shelved the HBO Max DC movie bat girl which is in post-production, picture directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah responded with a statement.
“We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still cannot believe it. As directors, it is essential that our work be shown to the public, and although the film is far from finished, we wish that fans everywhere got to see and embrace the final film for themselves,” the duo said in an Instagram post that you can read below.
The two directors Deadline heard from were in Morocco for El Arbi’s wedding when they first learned bat girlthis is bad news.
Once again a big upheaval here for everyone involved in the making of this film.
“Our amazing cast and crew did an amazing job and worked so hard to bring Batgirl to life. We are forever grateful to have been part of this team. It was a dream to work with such fantastic actors as Michael Keaton, JK Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Jacob Scipio, Corey Johnson, Rebecca Front and above all the great Leslie Grace, who portrayed Batgirl with such passion, dedication and humanity,” the filmmakers said in their statement.
They signed the post saying, “Batgirl for Life.”
As Deadline told you yesterday, Warner Bros. Discovery took advantage of a “buy accounting” maneuver available to the conglom as the company changed hands. This opportunity expires in mid-August and frees WBD from having to bear the losses of its books at a time when the studio is trying to find $3 billion in synergies to cut costs; this particular movie costs around $70 million. It is interesting to note that the disposal of bat girl is announced ahead of Warner Bros. Discovery’s big quarterly earnings call tomorrow.
Plus, making movies straight for HBO Max just isn’t on Zaslav’s agenda; bat girl lit under the Jason Kilar WarnerMedia regime. Once again, the city remains in shock to see a remarkable brand movie shelved so late in post-production.
Other reasons Warners threw bat girl come from the potentially shaking DC multiverse continuum movie that is set in flash, will be released in theaters on July 23, 2023. bat girl had to be dropped on the service before Glow. We heard the first round of tests for bat girl wasn’t that bad. However, we hear from both WB internal sources and non-WB sources (who were part of a test group) that Glow, despite all the tabloid headlines Ezra Miller, is truly amazing. Maintaining and restoring the luster of the DC brand is a priority for Zaslav as he is on the hunt for a new czar to lead the comics division across film, television and all ancillary.
There was a big casting for bat girl with Isabella Merced, Zoey Deutch, Leslie Grace and Haley Lu Richardson in the mix as Deadline’s Justin Kroll first told you. Grace won the role and was a huge social media champion for the film. Optically, it doesn’t look good for Warner Bros. Discovery to kill off a movie with a Latin star at a time when the industry is in dire need of diverse content. You can see a previous tweet from her below about the film.
Warners released a statement last night trying to sweep the debris of a Latina-led film’s deletion under the rug: “The decision not to release bat girl reflects the strategic shift in our leadership with respect to the DC Universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actress and this decision does not reflect on her performance. We are extremely grateful to the filmmakers of bat girl and Scoob! Holiday destination and their respective actors and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.
El Arbi and Fallah directed two episodes of Disney+ Ms. Marvel as good as bad boys for life which rebooted this pre-pandemic franchise and grossed over $426 million from WW.
“I use their expectations against them. This will be their weakness. Not mine. That they all underestimate me…
And when their guard is down and their pride rises, let me kick their ass.
– Batgirl, first year
— Leslie Grace (@lesliegrace) January 15, 2022
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