Batgirl never made it to theaters but has somehow become one of Warner Bros. Discovery’s most talked-about films. The film, which was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, was scrapped earlier this year before it had a chance to release and has since developed into one of superhero cinema’s greatest mysteries. While canceling movies isn’t unusual for Hollywood, it is a bit strange to dump a project after it’s completed filming, and fans are desperate to know what they would have seen had Batgirl been made public. Its cast, led by promising newcomer Leslie Grace, featured the grand return of Michael Keaton as Batman and a redemptive villain role for internet darling Brendan Fraser, who is in the midst of an immense career comeback.
With so much untapped potential in a single project, many hope that Batgirl might one day receive the Zack Snyder’s Justice League treatment and get its time in the spotlight via streaming release. The flames of these desires were stoked by the news that a private screening of the film was held for cast and crew on the Warner Bros. Discovery lot, lending credibility to the idea that a mostly-finished version of Batgirl could exist somewhere in storage. Unfortunately, during a recent conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Arbi and Fallah revealed this was not the case. Speaking candidly, Arbi explained that the footage shown to those involved with the film was totally unfinished, and not even their latest edit.
While the duo shares the hope that a final cut of the movie can eventually be released, they also say there’s a long way to go before that happens:
We still needed additional photography, there were a lot of scenes missing, and the VFX was not there. I don’t know if [Warner Bros.] are really gonna go for that, but we’ll see, sometimes we think it’s fucked, but sometimes it’s like … maybe!Adil El Arbi
As previously mentioned, the studio was in a similar boat with Zack Snyder‘s version of Justice League after releasing a heavily edited take by Joss Whedon in theaters instead. Intense internet scrutiny lead to WBD spending quite a bit of additional money to complete Snyder‘s vision and drop it on HBO Max. The payoff wasn’t as large as anticipated, however, which may impact Batgirl‘s odds of a second chance.
For Arbi and Fallah, this experience of losing a filmed project and not getting it back has been somewhat unreal. The former reminisced on the unfortunate circumstances of their last few years before commenting on Batgirl‘s status:
You’ve got to imagine, 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.Adil El Arbi
Ever upbeat, Arbi does manage to find a silver lining amongst all the disappointment:
This is something that never happened before, so we’ve kind of become part of movie history without even trying!Adil El Arbi
The duo is now working on their next film, a political thriller titled Rebel.