A ‘Batgirl’ Movie Will Be Written and Directed by Joss Whedon
The DC Extended Universe has been fumbling to clean up its act after receiving poor reviews and enduring Ben Affleck being Ben Affleck about his Batman role, and it seems they are flying in a new direction. We are this close to getting a Batgirl standalone film with Joss Whedon at the helm. Variety reported that he is nearing a deal with Warner Bros. to write, direct, and produce.
As dedicated fans know, there are multiple versions of Batgirl, but it seems likely this film will narrow in on the New 52 version of Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Commissioner Gordon. In these comics, written by Gail Simone, Barbara has woken up from the paralyzing spinal injury the Joker gave her in the famous 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke. After against-all-odds surgery, she has a full recovery and is ready to kick ass and take names. We're excited to see her revived and out of the refrigerator.
Whedon is known for his ability to craft powerful female characters (see: Buffy the Vampire Slayer), which is promising for a Batgirl movie. That and the fact that Whedon wrote and directed Marvel's The Avengers and its sequel, Age of Ultron, two of the most successful comic book films to date. That, and his ability to generate a cult following around even his smaller projects (Firefly comes to mind) could make Batgirl a more likable Bat-family hero than Affleck right now, although she'd have to compete with the planned Nightwing film as well.
Although it would be cool to see some more women on board with the creative process, especially since comic book films are notorious for their lack of diversity, Whedon has spoken out on the need for strong female characters and his desire to write them. This summer's Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins, but Whedon's involvement suggests they won't continue that trend with their female heroes, at least not for the time being.
The president and chief content office of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Toby Emmerich, will be overseeing the project with Jon Berg (Aquaman, Justice League, The Flash) and Geoff Johns (Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Batman v. Superman). For the fans who were disappointed when Whedon's Wonder Woman script was scrapped over ten years ago, this is a chance to perhaps get a glimpse into his vision.