It’s hard to believe that lost nerd media is still a thing in 2022. Sure, in decades past, you would have to go to a comic con to buy an unreliable DVD-R with the Roger Corman-produced Fantastic Four movie or that unaired Justice League of America tv movie with Star Trek: Picard‘s Michelle Hurd as Fire and Miguel Ferrer as villain the Weather Man (no, not the Weather Wizard). But thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can find those films with just a few keystrokes. But if Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are to be believed, their suddenly canceled movie will never be seen by audiences.
Speaking on the YouTube channel SKRPT, the directors — who also helmed Bad Boys for Life and two episodes of Ms. Marvel — revealed that they don’t even have copies of their film. After learning about the halt and production, El Arbi contacted Fallah and told him, “go ahead and shoot some things on your cellphone.” But he quickly learned that his server access was blocked, preventing him from viewing or copying any of the footage they shot. “We were like ‘fucking shit!’,” El Arbi admitted. “All the scenes with Batman in them! Shit!”
While this fact means the duo cannot leak their work to the internet, it does raise hope for some that Warner Bros could eventually release the movie. Some may believe that a campaign like the #releasethesnydercut or #releasetheayercut could convince the studio to put the movie on HBO Max or home media. But although they concede that the film was nearly finished when new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav decided to shelve it, the directors insist that it needs more work. The movie “cannot be released in its current state,” El Arbi flatly said. “There’s no VFX, we still had to shoot some scenes.”
Thus, to get Batgirl out into the world, the directors would need the same support demanded by the #releasethesnydercut. “If [Warner Bros.] wanted us to release the Batgirl movie they would need to give us the means to do it,” El Arbi declared. “To finish it properly with our vision.” El Arbi explicitly compares the process to the Snyder Cut, which required $70 million in additional resources before it could be brought to screens.
While the directors acknowledge that they received an overwhelming amount of support, including messages from no less than Kevin Feige, James Gunn, and Edgar Wright, it seems unlikely that #releasebatgirl would have the success of its predecessor. Nor would many want Batgirl fans to copy the methods that got Zack Snyder’s Justice League made. The #releasethesnydercut campaign has been involved in harassment of critics and studio personnel, and recent findings suggest larger-than-usual bot use. No movie is worth harassing others, no matter how good it might be.
And El Arbi and Fallah hasten to add that the movie is good. “The guys from Warners told us, ‘it was not a talent problem from our part or the actress, or even the quality of the movie,’” El Arbi assured viewers. Here’s hoping we’ll get to see it someday.