Over the past two weeks, projects have been scrapped left and right at Warner Bros. Discovery as new CEO David Zaslav reorganizes the company after a massive corporate merger. One of the first victims of the merger was bat girl, the feature film starring Leslie Grace to bring Barbara Gordon to live action. Even after it was canceled, apparently because Zaslav and his company are seeking tax deductions, filmmakers Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi attempted to salvage what they could from HBO Max servers, even if that meant filming clips stored on a computer with their cell phones.
“No, we don’t have anything. Adil called me and said, ‘Go ahead! Shoot everything on your phone!’ I went to the server… Everything was gone. [like]… ‘Holy shit!’… We don’t have [even] dungeon [the scenes] with Batman in it,” Fallah said in a recent TikTok interview translated by The Direct.
“The guys at Warner Bros. told us it wasn’t a talent issue on our part or the actress. [Leslie Grace], or even the quality of the movie,” he added. “We were in the middle of editing. There was a lot of work to do, so it wasn’t like the movie was over! Warner Bros. told us the cancellation was a strategic change, a change in direction so they could save money.”
While Warner Bros. has remained relatively quiet regarding recent cancellations, the studio released a statement regarding bat girl. According to the outfit, he was shelved due to a “strategic change”.
“The decision not to release Batgirl reflects the strategic shift in our direction with respect to the DC Universe and HBO Max,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said. in a press release. “Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actress and this decision does not reflect her performance. We are extremely grateful to the filmmakers of bat girl and Scoob! Holiday destination and their respective actors and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.”
bat girl was directed by Fallah and El Arbi, with a screenplay written by Christina Hodson. The film would have starred Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, with JK Simmons reprising his role as Commissioner James Gordon and Michael Keaton reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Brendan Fraser as Firefly, Ivory Aquino as Alysia Yeoh and Jacob Scipio, Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson and Ethan Kai have also joined the cast in currently unknown roles.