After Warner Bros. Discovery decided not to release the nearly-finished Batgirl, its directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, revealed that they’re still open to working on a future DC movie if the right opportunity is presented to them. The filmmakers shared the news while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, but also stated that they would have conditions if they do return to the studio to work in the DCEU again.
Fallah shared his thoughts on returning to Warner Bros. Discovery and the DCEU by saying: “Yeah, we’d still work with them. But on the condition that the movie comes out. I mean, if Warner says ‘do you want to do the next Batman or Superman?,’ of course we’ll say yes. Just so long as the movie comes out!”
Batgirl became the studio’s highest-profile cancellation when it was scrapped in August during its post-production. David Zaslav, the CEO and President at the newly combined Warner Bros. Discovery, abandoned the movie in order to cut costs at the studio. With a budget of $90 million, the film is considered to be one of the most expensive cinema projects ever to be cancelled.
According to industry insiders, the movie was at risk of not making its budget back. As a result, the company used its production as a tax write-down.
After Batgirl‘s cancellation, the two Belgian directors, who first garnered attention when they helmed the hit 2020 buddy cop sequel, Bad Boys for Life, were disappointed that they wouldn’t be able to share their work with DCEU fans.
“We’re two fanboys, and for one second we were in the Batman universe, following in the footsteps of Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan, and then it was just like we woke up and it was a dream,” Arbi noted while speaking at the Red Sea Film Festival in Saudi Arabia. The filmmakers were at the festival to screen their latest feature, the action thriller, Rebel.
Despite Batgirl being cancelled during its post-production, Fallah also said that the amount of positive reactions that he and his co-director personally received has been gratifying for them.
“It was unbelievable how much support we got,” said Fallah, who added that James Gunn, who was recently appointed to be the co-chairperson and CEO of the newly launched DC Films, and Edgar Wright reached out to him and Arbi. Studio execs from Paramount and Sony, and even Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige, also offered the helming duo support.
While Gunn personally reached out to offer his support to the Batgirl filmmakers, he hasn’t yet had a more formal meeting with them since he was hired by DC Studio. “But the meetings are in the books,” Arbi shared.
“There was so much support from people in the industry, it felt like all the artists were supporting us, and that’s a great feeling, because you feel like you’re not alone,” Fallah added.
Also noting that Batgirl‘s cancellation was unprecedented in terms of the manner in which it took place, Arbi said: “This is something that never happened before, so we’ve kind of become part of movie history without even trying!”
Before it was cancelled, a secret screening of Batgirl did take place on the Warner Bros. lot for the cast and crew. But Arbi and Fallah revealed that they couldn’t attend the event, as they were in Belgium at the time.
The duo added that the version that was shown wasn’t their latest edit. The cancellation of the movie, which starred Brendan Fraser, J.K. Simmons, former Batman actor Michael Keaton and In the Heights actress Leslie Grace in the titular role, occurred just as the directors entered the first stage of the editing process.
“We still needed additional photography, there were a lot of scenes missing, and the VFX was not there,” Arbi revealed. “I don’t know if [Warner Bros.] are really gonna go for that, but we’ll see, sometimes we think it’s f*cked, but sometime it’s like … maybe!”
Besides returning to Warner Bros., Arbi hinted that he and Fallah are also open to the possibility of returning to the Batman universe. “Maybe in the future … when Batman is not being made by Matt Reeves … Batman Beyond is [also] really super cool. And I just saw that and thought that’s really badass.
“So who knows? Maybe in the future one day if they ask us to do that, we wouldn’t say no. But you can dream, right?,” the filmmaker added.