A masterclass in looking on the bright side.
It’s a heartbreaking reality for artists that sometimes, you put your heart and soul into something, with full hope that it will resonate and inspire others, only to see that idea vanish into thin air. This can be especially true for those who create professionally and have to deal with many factors outside their own control. And, really, even for those of us who don’t identify as artists, the gut-wrenching disappointment of having a dream snatched away is pretty universal.
But when disappointment strikes, perhaps one of the best things we can do is acknowledge the pain, appreciate the opportunity and move on with grace.
This seems to be the road taken for the creators of the would-be “Batgirl” film, which, on Aug. 2, was officially scrapped by Warner Bros, not to be streamed on any platform. Though several reasons have been allegedly attributed to the surprise decision—such as “poor test screenings”—The Hollywood Reporter noted that the film “was a casualty of new corporate strategy,” where the company opted to take a tax write-down rather than opt for any kind of release of the $90 million movie.
This news came as a shock for DC fans, who had not only been eagerly anticipating Michael Keaton’s return as Batman, but a career comeback for Brendan Fraser as well, not to mention a huge win for representation with Leslie Grace playing the titular role as Barbara Gordon.Despite this news, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the directing duo behind “Batgirl,” released a heartfelt statement on Instagram that ultimately chose a glass-half-full perspective.
“We are saddened and shocked by the news,” they wrote. “We still can’t believe it. As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.”
The pair went on to thank the ”amazing cast and crew” who “did a tremendous job and worked so hard to bring Batgirl to life. We are forever grateful to have been part of that team.“
Their post ended with: “In any case, as huge fans of Batman since we were little kids, it was a privilege and an honor to have been a part of the DCEU, even if it was for a brief moment. Batgirl For Life.”
Leslie Grace also showed an incredible amount of emotional resilience in her own Instagram post.
“I am proud of the love, hard work and intention all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over 7 months in Scotland. I feel blessed to have worked among absolute greats and forged relationships for a lifetime in the process! To every Batgirl fan - THANK YOU for the love and belief, allowing me to take on the cape and become, as Babs said best, ‘my own damn hero!’” the actress wrote.
Cultivating hope during a time of setbacks isn’t easy. But this was a great example of how it’s done. Odds are we’ll never see what could have been for this version of “Batgirl,” but Arbi, Fallah and Grace have definitely given us a glimpse of her unbeatable courage and optimism nonetheless in their responses.