Belgian-Moroccan director duo 'saddened and shocked' by Batgirl cancellation
Batgirl, which reportedly had a budget of over $70 million, was axed despite filming finishing months ago and the film going through test screenings.
"We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can't believe it," Adil El Arbi and Billal Fallah said in a joint statement on Instagram on Wednesday.
"As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans from all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe they will one day, insha'Allah."
Speculation has swirled as to why the DC Extended Universe film was cancelled after so much time and money had been poured into it.
Warner Bros' about-face on the film likely came about because of a change of management at the production company, Hollywood news site Variety reported.
The film was "apparently neither big enough to feel worthy of a major theatrical release nor small enough to make economic sense in an increasingly cutthroat streaming landscape," it said.
A Warner Bros. spokesperson said the decision to cancel the film "reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max."
El Arbi and Fellah met while studying at film school in the Belgian capital Brussels, and have been directing films together for more than a decade.
Though the Belgium-born duo have worked together on big films before - including 'Bad Boys for Life' starring Will Smith - Batgirl would have been their most high-profile picture to date.
It has been a week of mixed fortune for El Arbi, who got married in Morocco on Sunday. Smith was a guest of honour at the ceremony.