One of the worst parts of The Flash was the untapped potential of Michael Keaton’s Batman, whose intended path as a mentor to Leslie Grace’s Batgirl instead meant that he was unceremoniously killed (over and over) as fodder serving Barry Allen’s arc. Spoiler alert: it hardly changed the speedster, just watch the post-credit scenes.
Batgirl filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah felt similarly after watching the final DC dud from the studio’s previous regime. In an interview with Insider while promoting their film Rebel, they talked about getting left out. El Arbi told Insider, “We watched it and we were sad. 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.”
He continued, “We didn’t get the chance to show Batgirl to the world and let the audience judge for themselves. 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.”
El Arbi went on to describe the tone of the film. “Our movie was very different than The Flash. That has a big fantasy component, ours was more grounded. More like Tim Burton’s Gotham City.” he said,“It’s the biggest disappointment of our careers... 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.” Fallah added, “There’s still a feeling of unfinished business.”
Considering how The Flash turned out, the duo truly may have dodged a bullet; maybe DC can let them come back for another try at Batgirl but within the new canon. (I’m still sore at DC’s choices with both Keaton and Supergirl Sasha Calle, whose standout performance had a wasted promising future.) Even after everything, though, the directing teams remains optimistic. “Our love for DC, Batman, Batgirl, Gotham City, it’s so big that, as fans, we could never say no to another project,” El Arbi shared. “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.”
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