Warner Bros deleted Batgirl before directors could salvage it

Cameron Frew
Batgirl cast screenings

After Batgirl was canceled, its directors tried to salvage their footage – but Warner Bros. had already wiped the movie from the server.

Under the new reign of Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, the studio’s strategy has drastically shifted. Several projects have either been axed or halted, all in aid of an $825 million tax write-down on content.

The first high-profile casualty of Zaslav’s purse-zipping was Batgirl, starring Leslie Grace as the titular caped crusader in a film directed by Bad Boys for Life’s Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.

The news was met with widespread criticism and shock, especially from the directors themselves, who made a last-ditch effort to rescue their work – only to find it had been deleted.

Batgirl directors tried to salvage canceled movie before Warner Bros deleted it

The never-to-be-seen movie, which would have introduced Grace’s Barbara Gordon to the DCEU alongside the return of Michael Keaton’s Batman, “reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max,” Warner Bros earlier said.

In a new interview with Skript, the directors spoke about their reaction to Batgirl’s cancelation and whether they managed to recover any footage.

Fallah said: “No, we have nothing. Adil called and told me, ‘Go ahead! Shoot everything on your phone!’

“I went on the server… everything was gone. We were [like]… ‘F**king sh*t!’ We did not [even] keep [the scenes] with Batman in it.”

According to the directors, there was still substantial work required on the movie in post-production, from editing to VFX.

Arbi said: “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.”

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