Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who helmed the surprisingly good Bad Boys For Life, are headed to Gotham City. The duo has been tapped by Warner Bros. to direct the Batgirl movie, which has a screenplay from Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson. At one point, Warner Bros. had hired Joss Whedon to write and direct the film, but Whedon walked away after saying he was unable to crack the story. The film is being planned as an HBO Max release.
THR broke the news that Bad Boys For Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will helm the Batgirl movie. “With Batgirl, we hope to take the audience on a fun ride and see a different side of Gotham,” said producer Kristin Burr. “Christina’s script is crackling with spirit. Adil and Bilall have an excited and joyous energy which is infectious, making them the perfect filmmakers for this Batproject. And I’m just psyched I get to be part of the DC universe, which is super cool.”
The directing duo also serve as executive producers and directors on Marvel’s upcoming Disney+ series Ms. Marvel. So when this movie begins filming, they’ll already have some experience helming a comic book-inspired project.
In the comics, Batgirl first appeared in 1961 as Bat-Girl, AKA Betty Kane. However, by 1967, the character had changed. Now, she went by the name Batgirl. And her alter ego was no longer Betty Kane, but Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner Gordon. Barbara Gordon remained Batgirl in the comics for several years, but eventually, different characters would take up the mantle. However, the upcoming movie is said to be focused on Barbara Gordon. This won’t be the first live-action Batgirl – the character appeared on the classic Batman TV series, where she was played by Yvonne Craig, and again in Batman and Robin, where she was played by Alicia Silverstone (the character was also changed to be the niece of Batman’s loyal butler Alfred instead of Commission Gordon’s daughter).
Bad Boys For Life was a lot of fun. I went into that film with almost zero expectations and ended up really enjoying it, so I’m interested to see what Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah do next. However, their hiring here is bound to raise a few questions. For one, why not hire a female director for Batgirl? That seems like the most logical choice. On top of that, the fact that Warner Bros. is planning to release this directly to HBO Max instead of theaters is also going to raise a few eyebrows. Does the studio not think the character is popular enough to lead a theatrical release?
In any case, Batgirl joins a growing line-up of upcoming Warner Bros. DC films, including The Batman, The Flash, Aquaman 2, a Superman movie featuring a Black Man of Steel, and more.
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