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Batgirl movie finds new directors in Bad Boys for Life duo

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It’s been quite some time since we last heard anything about Warner Bros.’ looooooong-gestating Batgirl live-action movie adaptation. While there were some rumblings about a possible tie-in to Robert Pattinson’s The Batman (looking less likely now that that upcoming film is confirmed to be set in an alternate universe to the main DCEU), the last official update came back in 2018 when Joss Whedon stepped down from directing duty.

And now, three years later, we finally have his replacements, -yes, “replacements”, plural – as The Hollywood Reporter breaks the news that Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the co-directing duo who burst onto the scene last year with the shockingly enjoyable Bad Boys for Life, have been tapped by Warner Bros. to helm the live-action Batgirl film.

The Morocco-born Belgian filmmaking duo known professionally simply as Adil & Bilall had predominantly worked in TV, most notably directing episodes of FX’s crime drama Snowfall. After Sony’s fourth Bad Boys film had stalled for years though, the duo came aboard with a pitch that breathed new life into the sequel and resulted in the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence action-comedy becoming the best-reviewed and highest-earning film in the franchise with $426.5 million worldwide. Following the success of Bad Boys for Life, Adil & Bilall got rocketed onto several Hollywood shortlists and the pair have now found themselves attached to a long-gestating fourth Beverly Hills Cop film as well as directing and exec-producing Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel series on Disney+.

As for Batgirl, following writer/director Whedon’s departure, Christina Hodson was tapped to pen the script off the strength of her work on Bumblebee, the critically-acclaimed Transformers prequel released in 2018. Since then, Hodson has become a favourite with DC execs, having also scripted the Birds of Prey film as well as the upcoming The Flash film. Her script will still be used for Batgirl which is confirmed to be focusing on Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon who turns erstwhile Batman sidekick. There have been a few characters in DC Comics to go by the Batgirl name, but Barbara Gordon is easily the most well-known, despite not actually being the first (that would be Betty Kane in the original 1960s Batman TV series).

With DC Comics seemingly also rebooting its timeline every other Tuesday, there have also been several different iterations of the character with Barbara’s Batgirl sometimes portrayed as a more mature adult superhero (who eventually became Oracle after she was paralyzed by the Joker) and other times as a young teenage superhero still finding her feet. There are no details yet with regards to which angle the film will take or if Batgirl will tie into Birds of Prey as the characters have quite the comic book history together. However, producer Kristin Burr said in a statement that “With Batgirl, we hope to take the audience on a fun ride and see a different side of Gotham.”

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.

Batgirl joins an increasingly full and diverse lineup of recently announced DC projects which includes Supergirl, Blue Beetle, Hourman, Zatanna, Static Shock, Black Hawk, Nightwing, and more.

Last Updated: May 20, 2021

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