[UPDATED] Report Says Joss Whedon Is Nearing Deal to Direct, Write, and Produce a Batgirl Solo Film
Variety reports DC Comics Batgirl is finally getting her own solo film and that Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Avengers director Joss Whedon is likely to write, direct, and produce.
PLEASE GREENLIGHT A BATGIRL MOVIE BEFORE ANOTHER BATMAN MOVIE THANK YOU
— Jill Pantozzi ♿ (@JillPantozzi) March 4, 2016
So THAT turned out nice, huh?
No other producers are currently attached. Toby Emmerich, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures Group is overseeing with Jon Berg and Geoff Johns. The new project originated in the past month. Batgirl is one of the most popular superheroines in the world, but has never gotten her own movie. The project will also feature other characters from the world of Gotham.
There are no other details being given at this time but the choice will be a hotly contested one to be sure. On one hand, Whedon is a huge name and has made it even bigger over the last several years thanks to his work in the Marvel cinematic universe. He’s a talented creator, there’s no doubt, and has worked on several female-centric stories. But while fans have been waiting ages for a Batgirl solo film, a lot of us hoped it would be written and directed by a woman. There’s also been plenty of critique on Whedon’s work with female characters.
There’s also a lot of concern over the DC film universe and how dark its been. Batgirl, otherwise known as Barbara Gordon, is not dark. She is one source of light in the DC Universe and she’s been an inspiration to many (myself included) from her inception, to her appearance in the 60s Batman television series, the 90s animated series, through her evolution into Oracle and back again. But her past includes a story many consider to be a dark stain on DC Comics history and one I would not want to see on film, The Killing Joke. And I think I’m not alone in wishing Jared Leto’s Joker never gets anywhere near her unless it’s Batgirl kicking him in the face and him spending the rest of the DC films in Arkham.
There’s no mention Whedon’s film would definitely focus on Gordon (though it’s likely), they could choose to adapt one of the other Batgirls from DC’s history like Betty Kane, Cassandra Cain, or Stephanie Brown. There’s great stories that could be told with all of them, Kate Kane Batwoman as well.
Warner Bros. is set to release Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot, on June 2, 2017 and have a Gotham City Sirens film in the works that’s meant to star Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn but include other women from the DCU. It’s likely Batgirl would first debut in that film before her own premiered. Warner is also currently at work on another film for a member of the Batfamily, Nightwing.
As a reminder, Marvel’s first female-led solo film, Captain Marvel, won’t be released until March 8th, 2019 and hasn’t given any real hope on a Black Widow movie even though she’s been in the MCU since 2010. Also remember Warner hired Whedon to write and direct a Wonder Woman movie back in the early 2000s.
[UPDATE] I did a small Batgirl casting suggestion thread on Twitter you should check out.
[UPDATE #2] Entertainment Weekly adds to the news: “Sources tell EW that this version will be Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner Gordon, and the movie will use the DC Comics ‘New 52’ version of the character as a starting point…It’s unclear how much of that series, written by Gail Simone, will be incorporated into Whedon’s film, but sources tell EW the movie will follow Simone’s harder-edged storyline rather than the more comical, playful ‘Batgirl of Burnside’ series that was rebooted in 2014, featuring the hero as a social-media obsessed student living in a hipster neighborhood of Gotham.”
(art by Dustin Nguyen)