Batgirl directors ‘stunned’ by decision not to release film

The creators of Batgirl said Wednesday they were “stunned” by their studio’s decision not to release the nearly finished $90 million superhero film.

Warner Bros Discovery has decided to shelve the already filmed feature film, which will not be released in theaters or on the streaming platform HBO Max, where it was supposed to be available in the US.

Adapting the adventures of the DC Comics character, the film starred Leslie Grace alongside Michael Keaton, who once again donned the mythical Batman costume.

“We are saddened and stunned by the news. We still can’t believe it,” Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said on Instagram.

“As directors, it is important that our work is shown to the public, and even if the film were far from finished, we would have liked admirers around the world to be able to see and understand it,” the authors added Belgian.

A lot of the post-production work – where special effects are added, for example – was already done.

In their message, the directors who signed Bad Boys for Life, among others, paid tribute to the “amazing actors” on the film’s poster.

“Anyway, as huge Batman fans since childhood, it was a privilege and an honor to be a part of (the DC Cinematic Universe), even for a short time. Batgirl forever,” they concluded.

The studio’s decision stunned Hollywood, where film industry insiders assured that such a cancellation was unprecedented for a work almost complete — and had cost so much money.

“Batgirl” seems to have been the collateral victim of a change in strategy following the Warner Bros./Discovery merger.

Warner Bros had planned to produce films to be released directly on the HBO Max platform.

But that decision, partly justified by the need to bypass cinemas amid the Covid-19 pandemic, wasn’t unanimous and the studios appear to have backed down after their merger with Discovery.

“Batgirl” would have been deemed too expensive for a belt-tightening streaming sector but not spectacular enough for the big screen and would have been doomed to storage, according to experts in the field quoted by Variety magazine.

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