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Batgirl movie by Belgian directors unexpectedly cancelled

15:40 05/08/2022

The new Batgirl movie by Belgian directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah has been unexpectedly shelved despite the fact that filming was completed and post-production had begun. 

Warner Bros announced the cancellation to surprise and anger from fans who had been looking forward to its debut. 

The star-studded cast featured Leslie Grace, Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser, but various media report that its budget ballooned as a result of being shot during the pandemic and the studio worried it would be unable to recuperate the costs. 

It isn’t the first superhero movie for the film’s Belgian directors, who also directed Ms Marvel. El Arbi and Fallah were named Brusselars of the year in 2015 for their second movie Black, which was set and filmed in in the capital. 

Originally from Antwerp and of Moroccan descent, the pair have achieved massive success in an industry not exactly known for welcoming those outside its tight-knit community. 

The third instalment of the Bad Boys mega-hit cop series, which El Arbi and Fallah directed, grossed the second-highest amount ever for an opening film in the US in January 2020.

The news that Batgirl wouldn’t be released – neither theatrically nor on HBO Max – was surprising to many in the industry. 

The New York Post, which broke the story earlier this week, said an unnamed source told them the film was cut because the budget exceeded $100 million and the movie performed poorly during early test screenings.

“They think an unspeakable Batgirl is going to be irredeemable,” that source said.

The choice to shelve it means the film is one of the most expensive cancelled movies of all time. 

Photo: Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi at the Brussels Music MIA Awards 2022 © Belga/James Arthur Gekiere

 

Written by Helen Lyons