Batgirl administrators say they’re “saddened” after the movie was shelved

The directors of the superhero movie “Batgirl” said Wednesday they were “saddened and shocked” that Warner Bros. would shelve their film instead of releasing it in theaters or streaming it on HBO Max, a rare decision by a major studio. .

The film is expected to debut sometime this year.

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

“As filmmakers, it’s very important that our work is shown to the audience, and although the film is far from finished, we want fans around the world to have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film for themselves. Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.”

Betgirl, which had a budget of around 90 million USD, starring Leslie Grace (“In the Heights”), with Michael Keaton (reprising his role as Batman), JK Simmons and Brendan Fraser in supporting roles.

Arbi and Fallah, who co-directed the action drama Bad Boys for Life and oversaw episodes of this film. The Disney+ streaming series Ms. Marvel” wrapped production on Batgirl in April.

Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but a spokesperson told the Associated Press that “the decision not to launch Batgirl reflects a strategic shift by our management regarding the DC universe and HBO Max.”

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

Batgirl was put into production before WarnerMedia merged with Discovery Inc., the company best known for cable channels like the Food Network and HGTV.

David Zaslav, chief executive of the joint multimedia conglomerate, may announce broader changes on Thursday afternoon’s earnings call, including a combined version of HBO Max and Discovery+. Industry representatives are reportedly concerned about layoffs and other cuts.

Zaslav’s vision for the company appears to be a stark departure from that of previous CEO Jason Kilar, who invested heavily in streaming and established a simultaneous broadcasts and theatrical premieres for movies like “dune” and — King Richard.

Bilal Fallah and Adil El Arbi at Cannes Film Festival 2022 May 26Dominique Charriau/WireImage.

Batgirl was part of a series of projects created exclusively for HBO Max. Six other films made under such conditions appear to have been removed from the platform in recent days, including Anne Hathaway’s fantasy The Witches and Seth Rogen’s comedy An American Pickle.

Warner Bros. also scrapped plans to release an animated sequel to Scoob!: Holiday Haunt. Tony Cervone, film producer and writer, confirmed in an Instagram post that the project was “practically finished and worked out beautifully. My heart aches to no end.”

The films, set in the DC Comics universe, have been mixed critically and commercially. Wonder Woman (2017) took the box office by storm to positive reviews, while Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and the original version of Suicide Squad (2016) received mostly negative reactions.

Arbi and Fallah wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday that “it was a privilege and an honor to be [DC film franchise], even if it was for a while. Batgirl for Life”.

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