Photo: Bilal Falah and Adel Elaraby at the Cannes Film Festival May 26, 2022.

‘Batgirl’ directors say they’re ‘sad’ after movie suspension

The directors of the superhero movie “Batgirl” said Wednesday they are “sad and shocked” that Warner Bros. will halt their movie rather than release it in theaters or distribute it to streaming service HBO Max — a rare decision from a major studio.

The film was expected to start sometime this year.

“We still don’t believe it,” Adel Elaraby and Bilal Falah said in a joint Instagram post.

“As directors, it is vital that our work is shown to audiences, and while the film is far from finished, we hope that fans around the world will have the opportunity to see the final film and embrace it for themselves. Perhaps one day, God willing.”

The movie “Batgirl”, which had a budget of about $90 million, starred Leslie Grace (In the Heights) and supporting performances by Michael Keaton (reprising the role of Batman), JK Simmons and Brendan Fraser.

Grace addressed the situation in an Instagram post on Wednesday night, writing in part: “I am proud of the love, hard work and intent that all the amazing cast and hardworking crew have put into this film over the course of 7 months in Scotland.”

Arby and Falah previously co-directed the action scene “Bad Boys for Life” and oversaw episodes of the Disney+ streaming series “Mrs. Marvel.”

Warner Bros. He did not 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 of our leadership as it relates to DC Universe and HBO Max.”

The spokeswoman added that Grace is an “incredibly talented actress and this decision is not a reflection of her performance.” (WarnerMedia is the parent company of Warner Bros. Pictures and HBO Max.)

Hollywood studios never bury movies that don’t meet creative or financial expectations. In most cases, the film in question is sold to the streaming service or quietly dropped in theaters without a marketing campaign.

“Batgirl” was sent into production before WarnerMedia merged with Discovery Inc. , a company best known for a host of cable channels such as Food Network and HGTV.

David Zaslav, president of the joint multimedia conglomerate, could announce broader changes during an earnings call Thursday afternoon, including a consolidated version of HBO Max and Discovery+. Industry insiders are said to be concerned about layoffs and other cuts.

Zaslav’s vision for the company appears to be very different from that of former CEO, Jason Keeler, who invested heavily in live broadcasting and, during the height of the pandemic, set up simultaneous live-streaming and stage shows for films like “Dune” and “King Richard”. “

Bilal Falah and Adel Al-Arabi at the Cannes Film Festival, May 26, 2022.Dominic Chariot / WireImage

“Batgirl” was part of the slate of projects produced exclusively for HBO Max. Six other films made under these terms, including Anne Hathaway’s fantasy The Witches and Seth Rogen’s comedy An American Pickle, appear to have been removed from the platform in recent days.

Warner Bros. also canceled Plans to release the sequel animated movie Scoop!: Holiday Hunt. Tony Cervon, the film’s producer and writer, confirmed in one of his Instagram posts that the project “practically finished and turned out beautifully. I don’t feel sad.”

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

Elaraby and Falah wrote in their Instagram post on Wednesday that it is “a privilege and an honor to be a part of [DC film franchise]Even if it was for a short while. Batgirl for life.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.