Batgirl, an upcoming DC Extended Universe film, was abruptly cancelled earlier this month after Warner Bros Discovery, the studio bankrolling it, decided to pull the plug. What made the decision shocking was that the film was reportedly 90% complete and was set for a streaming release on HBO Max later this year.
In a new interview, one of the directors of the ill-fated film has said they tried to save the film and keep copies but the studio deleted everything before they could do so.
Batgirl, directed by Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi, would have served as the origin story for the titular character, with Leslie Grace in lead. JK Simmons, who played Jim Gordon in the DCEU films, was to reprise his role here. But the biggest draw was the return of Michael Keaton as Batman. The actor played the iconic role in two films in 1989 and 1992. But the film was cancelled earlier in August due to a 'strategic decision' by WB.
In a TikTok interaction, Bilall recently said he and his collaborator tried to save the film from the HBO Max servers and make copies on their devices but couldn't do so. "Everything was gone. We were... 'F**ing shit!'... We did not even keep [the scenes] with Batman in it," Billal said.
Reacting to the decision to can the film this close to release, the filmmaker added, "The guys from Warner Bros. told us it was not a talent problem on our part or the actress (Leslie Grace), or even the quality of the movie. We were right in the middle of editing. There was a lot of work to get done, so it was not like the movie was finished! Warner Bros. told us the cancellation was a strategic change, a shifting in management so they could save some bucks."
Reports have claimed that Warner Bros. Discovery cancelled the film in order to save money by writing off tax obligations. This would mean that the film may never see the light of the day. The studio has not confirmed this, however.
In a statement, a Warner Bros. Discovery spokesperson simply said, "The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership's strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance. We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future."