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Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah

Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said they are “shocked and saddened” after Warner Bros shelved the film.

Issuing a joint statement on Instagram yesterday (August 3), the Belgian directing duo said they “still can’t believe” their film was scrapped. 

“As directors, it is critical that our work can be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.”

On August 1, it was first reported that the DC superheo film, which was due for a HBO Max release, was shelved due to poor audience test screenings.

In a statement, Warner Bros said the move was due to the “leadership’s strategic shift”, hinting at CEO David Zaslav’s desire to pivot back to big-budget theatrical tentpoles for DC properties.

Arbi and Fallah, whose film Rebel screened in Cannes Competition earlier this year, went on to thank the cast and crew of Batgirl which included Michael Keaton reprising his role as Batman and Leslie Grace in the title role.

Grace, who rose to fame in Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In The Heights, also took to Instagram to thank those involved in the project.

She said: ”I am proud of the love, hard work and intention all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over seven months in Scotland. I feel blessed to have worked among absolute greats and forged relationships for a lifetime in the process!”