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Adam Holmes

It Was Will Smith Who Gave One Tip To Batgirl (And Bad Boys For Life) Directors After The Movie Got Scrapped

Will Smith toasting Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys For Life.

In August 2022, Hollywood experienced a major shakeup with Batgirl’s release being scrapped. Rather than this being a case of a movie being shelved early into its development or even right before production kicked off, the DC movie had already been shot, and the plan had been to release it exclusively to Max subscribers. Instead, we’ll now never see Leslie Grace’s platform to shine as Barbara Gordon, which was especially disheartening to Batgirl’s directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. However, one of the few silver linings from this monumental decision was that they received a wise tip from Will Smith, whom they’d worked with on Bad Boys for Life

When the Batgirl news broke, El Arbi and Fallah were in Morocco for the former’s wedding, so it was an exceptional case of bad timing. Smith also attended the event, and two days after the nuptials, he gave the following words of wisdom to the filmmaking duo, as El Arbi recalled to Variety:

It was two days after the wedding, and Will Smith was there. He was like, ‘What’s happening? Oh my God.’ And he said, ‘Really, don’t worry about it. Just one tip. Don’t go on social media.’

Batgirl was scrapped from the upcoming DC movies slate so it could be a tax write-off for Warner Bros. Discovery, meaning it can never legally be shown to the public, although some secret screenings were held for the cast and crew members, among other select invitees, before the movie went under lock and key. This move came roughly two and a half years after Bad Boys for Life, the blockbuster that paired Will Smith back with Martin Lawrence nearly two decades after Bad Boys 2’s release. With Smith hanging around after Adil El Arbi’s wedding, he was on hand to tell him and Bilall Fallah not to stress too much about Batgirl’s fate, as well as advise them not to go on social media during this craziness. Frankly, staying off social media is frequently a good tip no matter what the occasion, but I digress.

Had Batgirl been completed and released, viewers would’ve gotten to see things like Leslie Grace’s title character facing off against Brendan Fraser’s Firefly, J.K. Simmons reprising Commissioner James Gordon for the first time since Justice League, and Michael Keaton jumping back into action as Batman following his big return to the cape and cowl in The Flash. Alas, those moments have been doomed to never be witnessed by the public, with Peter Safran, who co-runs DC Studios with James Gunn, saying in January 2023 that Batgirl was “not releasable” and “would not have been able to compete in the theatrical marketplace.” The good news, though, is that El Arbi and Fallah were able to get some superhero media experience elsewhere by helming two episodes of the Ms. Marvel series, which can be streamed with a Disney+ subscription.

For those who enjoyed Will Smith’s work with Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah on Bad Boys for Life, the three men have teamed back up with Martin Lawrence for Bad Boys 4, which doesn’t have a release date yet. Meanwhile, following the release of Blue Beetle,and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the DCEU era is wrapping up, and then the new DC Universe will launch its Chapter One slate.

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