Few times in history has the line between film as a business versus an art form been as clear as the story of Batgirl. Earlier this week, Warner Bros. decided to completely cancel the near $100 million movie, despite its being near completion, due to complex tax considerations as well as a reported new release strategy. The move left Hollywood insiders and outsiders alike stunned, but certainly, no one was as stunned as the people who made the movie.
Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were reportedly in Moracco for El Arbi’s wedding when they heard the news their film had been taken from them. And now, the pair has released a joint statement via social media. You can read it below.
You have to say, that’s a very diplomatic and humble statement considering years of their lives have just been taken from them. And for what? So a company can write off $100 million or so on its taxes? Yes, basically.
It’s a hard lesson not just for the filmmakers involved, but for film fans in general. We see movies as escape. Things that we can latch onto and enjoy. Or sometimes despise. But to the people making the movies, really making the movies, the ones who sign the checks and put their names on the line to say “This is worth a 100, 200, 300 million dollar investment of my company’s money” movies aren’t that. Maybe they are once they’re done and successful, but in general most movies are products, especially in Hollywood. They’re things created and released so that we, the audience, will somehow give our money to watch them. And sometimes it’s important to remember that, as sad as it may be.
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