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Batgirl directors say they are “sad” after the film was shelved

The directors of the superhero film Batgirl said Wednesday they were “sad and shocked” that Warner Bros. will shelve their film instead of bringing it to theaters or streaming service HBO Max — a rare decision by a major studio .

The film should be out later this year.

“We still can’t believe it,” Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said in a joint post on Instagram.

“As directors, it’s critical that our work can be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish fans around the world had had the opportunity to see and embrace the finished film for themselves . Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.”

Budgeted at around $90 million, Batgirl starred Leslie Grace (“In the Heights”) and included supporting casts from Michael Keaton (who reprized his role as Batman), JK Simmons and Brendan Fraser.

Arbi and Fallah, who co-directed the action extravaganza Bad Boys for Life and episodes of the Disney+ streaming series Ms. marvel” completed production on “Batgirl” in April.

Warner Bros. didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but a spokesperson told the Associated Press in a statement that “the decision not to release Batgirl reflects the strategic shift in our leadership regarding the DC Universe and HBO Max.”

The rep added that Grace “is an incredibly talented actress and this decision doesn’t reflect her performance.” (WarnerMedia is the parent company of Warner Bros. Pictures and HBO Max.)

Hollywood studios almost never bury films that don’t live up to creative or financial expectations. In most cases, the movie in question is sold to a streaming service or silently released into theaters without a marketing campaign.

Batgirl was sent into production before WarnerMedia merged with Discovery Inc., a company best known for a portfolio of cable channels including Food Network and HGTV.

David Zaslav, the head of the combined multimedia conglomerate, could announce broader changes, including a merged version of HBO Max and Discovery+, during a earnings conference call Thursday afternoon. Industry insiders are reportedly concerned about layoffs and other cuts.

Zaslav’s vision for the company appears to differ dramatically from that of former CEO Jason Kilar, who invested heavily in streaming and introduced simultaneous streaming and theatrical releases for films like Dune and King Richard during the height of the pandemic.”

Pictured: Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi at the Cannes Film Festival on May 26, 2022.
Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi at the Cannes Film Festival on May 26, 2022.Dominique Charriau/WireImage

“Batgirl” was part of a series of projects produced exclusively for HBO Max. Six other films shot under these conditions, including Anne Hathaway fantasy The Witches and Seth Rogen comedy An American Pickle, appeared to have been removed from the platform in recent days.

Warner Bros. also scrapped plans to release the animated sequel to the film, Scoob!: Holiday Haunt. Tony Cervone, the film’s producer and writer, confirmed in an Instagram post that the project “is practically complete and turned out beautifully. I am beyond heartbroken.”

The films set in the DC Comics universe were a critical and commercial mix. Wonder Woman (2017) was a box office hit and received strong reviews, while Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and the original version of Suicide Squad (2016) drew mostly negative reviews.

Arbi and Fallah wrote in their Instagram post on Wednesday that it was a “privilege and honor to be a part of the [DC film franchise], even if it was only for a brief moment. Batgirl for life.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/movies/batgirl-directors-say-are-saddened-movie-shelved-rcna41432 Batgirl directors say they are “sad” after the film was shelved

Fry Electronics Team

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