Whatcha gonna do, Batgirl, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
The Batgirl movie project has found its director. Or, rather, in this case, its directors.
Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the duo behind the 2020 hit Bad Boys for Life, have closed a deal to steer Warner Bros.’ DC feature centering on Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon.
Christina Hodson, who wrote Bumblebee and is in the Warners fold with her screenwriting on Birds of Prey and The Flash, penned the script for what is being planned as a movie for HBO Max.
Kristin Burr, who is gearing up for the release of Cruella this month, is producing.
Barbra Gordon is the most established version of the Batgirl character, who was initially introduced in 1961 as Betty Kane. But the character was revamped in 1967 when television executives wanted to attract a female audience to the Batman TV series, then faltering in its third season. Yvonne Craig played the character whose last live-action big-screen appearance was with Alicia Silverstone in Joel Schumacher’s 1997 movie Batman & Robin.
The project previously had Joss Whedon on board as writer and director. Whedon came on in March 2017 but left in April 2018, at the time saying he failed at cracking the story.
‘With Batgirl, we hope to take the audience on a fun ride and see a different side of Gotham,” said 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.”
El Arbi and Fallah were born in Morocco and studied film in Belgium. The cut their teeth with European thriller and directing episodes of FX crime drama Snowfall but gained attention when they helmed the third Bad Boys movie.
That action movie had stalled in development for years and years, but the pair put the title back on the streets with new rims and a strong engine, reenergizing an aging franchise. The movie garnered the best reviews of any of the Bad Boys movies and became the highest-grossing American movie of the year (in a year that is asterisked by a pandemic lockdown).
Off the strength of Bad Boys, they trampolined to co-showrunners of Marvel series Ms. Marvel, where they also directed the premiere and finale episodes, the latter which wrapped a few weeks ago.
The duo are currently in production on Rebel, a family drama driven by song, rap and dance centered on a 13-year-old boy whose life stands at a crossroads following the death of his father.
El Arbi and Fallah are repped by CAA, Management 360, and Jackoway Austen.