'Batgirl' directors say it was 'sad' to watch 'The Flash' after their movie was axed: 'There's still a feeling of unfinished business'

'Batgirl' directors say it was 'sad' to watch 'The Flash' after their movie was axed: 'There's still a feeling of unfinished business'
  • Adil and Bilall told Insider they were "sad" watching "The Flash" as the release of their movie "Batgirl" was canceled last summer.

  • "We didn't get the chance to show 'Batgirl' to the world," Adil said.

  • "There's still a feeling of unfinished business," Bilall said.

If things worked out the way filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah had planned, their first project with DC and Warner Bros., "Batgirl," would be available to fans now. But instead, they can only think of what could have been — especially after seeing "The Flash."

The filmmakers, known simply as Adil and Bilall, spoke to Insider Monday about their upcoming Syrian war drama, "Rebel, which opens in select theaters Friday. During the interview, they recalled how they felt watching "The Flash" following Warner Bros.' unprecedented decision to cancel the release of their Batgirl movie last year.

"We watched it and we were sad," Adil told Insider of watching "The Flash." "We love director Andy Muschietti and his sister Barbara, who produced the movie. But when we watched it, we felt we could have been part of the whole thing."

"We didn't get the chance to show 'Batgirl' to the world and let the audience judge for themselves," Adil continued. "Because the audience really is our ultimate boss and should be the deciders of if something is good or bad, or if something should be seen or not."

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah Kevin Winter Getty
(L-R) Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.Kevin Winter/Getty

In August 2020, Warner Bros. Discovery, under the leadership of its new CEO David Zaslav, announced that "Batgirl" would no longer be released either on HBO Max, which has since been rebranded as Max, or theatrically. The movie was in post-production when the decision was made.

For the movie, "In the Heights" actor Leslie Grace was meant to star as Batgirl, with Brendan Fraser playing the villain Firefly, J.K. Simmons portraying Commissioner Gordon, and Michael Keaton reprising his role as Batman. Keaton played Batman in "The Flash," marking his first time playing the Caped Crusader since 1992's "Batman Returns."

The decision to cancel "Batgirl" was made because Zaslav wanted DC movies to become theatrical events, according to The Wrap.

"Our movie was very different than 'The Flash,'" Adil said. "That has a big fantasy component, ours was more grounded. More like Tim Burton's Gotham City."

The filmmakers, who are known best for directing the 2020 hit "Bad Boys for Life," explained that, back when "Batgirl" was still scheduled to be released, executives told them it could come out after "The Flash." They said that not being able to showcase how they featured Keaton as Batman in their own movie has been the hardest pill to swallow.

"I felt like a kid on set working with Keaton," Bilall said. "I totally forgot that I was directing."

Michael Keaton as Batman in "The Flash."
Michael Keaton as Batman in "The Flash."YouTube/Warner Bros. Pictures

They said Keaton, along with the rest of the cast, reached out to them when the news hit that "Batgirl" would not be released.

"He was sad but he also said he had fun," Adil said of Keaton's message to them.

"It's the biggest disappointment of our careers," he said of the "Batgirl" experience. "As a fanboy, just to be in the presence of Keaton as Batman, that's just a privilege and an honor. But it's a bittersweet feeling."

However, the directors said they have no ill feelings towards Warner Bros. and would still like to make a DC Comics movie one day.

"There's still a feeling of unfinished business," Bilall said.

"Our love for DC, Batman, Batgirl, Gotham City, it's so big that, as fans, we could never say no to another project," Adil said. "If we got another chance to be part of it, we'd do it. We didn't get our day in court. We still want to make our case."

Read the original article on Insider