Things are still getting shook up in the DC film universe in the aftermath of the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger. After the shocking news that the new company, led by CEO David Zaslav, is shelving Batgirl (news that one of the directors found out during his wedding), we find out that those directors couldn’t even see their movie one last time.
In an interview with the French outlet SKRIPT (via Entertainment Weekly), Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah shared that they have nothing to show from their work on the movie. “We have nothing,” Fallah said. “Adil called me and said, ‘Go ahead shoot some things on your cellphone.’ I went on the server and everything was blocked.”
El Arbi was equally distraught with the news, especially since some of that footage included the return of Michael Keaton as Batman. “We were like ‘fucking shit! All the scenes with Batman in them!’” he said. “Shit!”
The directors also said that Warner Bros. said they didn’t axe the movie because of talent concerns. “They told us it was a strategic change,” El Arbi said. “There was new management, and they wanted to save some money.”
In a recent quarterly earnings call, however, Zaslav strongly implied that Batgirl didn’t meet his standard for what a DC film should be. “We’re not going to launch a movie to make a quarter and we’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it,” the CEO said.
Another Batman project that has been pushed off the production train is the animated series, Batman: Caped Crusader. Warner Bros. greenlit the show backed by Bruce Timm, J.J. Abrams, and Matt Reeves in May 2021. Caped Crusader along with five other series, including Merry Little Batman, were axed by Warner Bros. Discovery yesterday, though all projects are reportedly still moving forward and looking for another platform besides HBO Max to stream on.
Warner Bros. Discovery is far from out of the Batman game, however. According to Deadline, The Batman director Matt Reeves signed an overall first look film deal with Warner Bros. Pictures, which includes a sequel to The Batman with Robert Pattinson attached to once again play the sad Bat. The Penguin spinoff Reeves is working on also still appears to be moving ahead, so there will still be DC projects in the future, just as long as they meet Zaslav’s purported standards.