Warner Bros. Discovery shocked the film world this week when the company announced that it would completely scrap the upcoming “Batgirl” film from Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. The decision not to release the film in theaters or on a streaming site is unprecedented, especially when you consider that the cast and crew were not informed of the move ahead of time.
It’s been a bad week for Arbi and Fallah, but every grey cloud has a silver lining. Adil El Arbi recently took to Instagram to reveal that the directors have received an outpouring of support from some of the biggest names in comic book filmmaking this week.
“Thanks for all the messages of support all over the world,” he wrote. “Shoutout directors Edgar Wright and James Gunn, your kind words and experience mean a lot and help us through this difficult period.”
While Gunn and Wright’s messages to the directors were not shared publicly, the two men certainly know a thing or two about having superhero movies ripped out from under them. Wright was attached to write and direct “Ant-Man” for years, and his passion for the character is arguably what caused Marvel to develop the film in the first place, but creative differences forced him off the project at the last minute. He still received a screenplay credit on the film, but many close observers are skeptical of the notion that the finished product has many of his fingerprints on it.
Gunn also had a similar experience, as he was briefly fired from directing “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” after the internet dug up some of his decades-old tweets that contained some off-color humor. While he was eventually reinstated at the helm of the franchise after an outpouring of support from fans and his cast, he’s still uniquely qualified to empathize with Arbi and Fallah’s situation.
Arbi also revealed that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige reached out to them, sharing an email from his former “Ms. Marvel” boss on his Instagram story.
“My friends, I had to reach and let you know we are all thinking about you both,” Feige wrote. “Because of the wonderful news about the wedding (congrats!) and the disappointing news about ‘Batgirl.’ Very proud of you guys and all the amazing work you do and particularly ‘Ms. Marvel’ of course! Can’t wait to see what is next for you. Hope to see you soon.”