Joss Whedon is set to direct a solo Batgirl movie
The Avengers director Joss Whedon, is crossing enemy lines to make a movie with D.C. Comics.
According to Variety, Whedon is onboard at Warner Bros. to write, produce, and direct the movie, which will be set in the DC Extended Universe.
Little else is known about the solo project, but it’s huge news for Whedon and DC. His last feature film was 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron in the competing Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was a herculean effort for the director at the time, and the behind-the-scenes stress pushed him to break ties with the studio. Moving to Warner Bros. is a huge win for the DC.
And whatever comes of the eventual Batgirl movie, it immediately sounds like a good fit for the director. Batgirl, otherwise known as Barbara Gordon, first appeared in comics back in 1967. As the brilliant daughter of Commissioner Gordon, she’s left indelible mark on the so-called “Bat-Family,” and has become a feminist icon in the comics industry. Other Batgirls Whedon could approach include Betty Kane, who first debuted back in 1961, Cassandra Cain, who currently goes by Orphan in the comics, and Stephanie Brown, who originally went by Spoiler before taking up the Batgirl mantle briefly . Given Whedon’s love of powerful and complicated women in his work (see: Buffy, Dollhouse, and Firefly), it makes sense that he’d come on as writer-director.
The move to make a Batgirl movie also shows Warner Bros. fleshing out the DCEU with Batman-related heroes and villains. The studio is already making Gotham City Sirens, which features Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman, as well as the Chris McKay-directed Nightwing movie, which will follow former Robin (and Batgirl love interest) Dick Grayson. However, conversations will almost certainly be had as to whether or not a woman should have been tapped to handle this adaptation, considering how important the character is to female fans.
Batgirl’s first comic appearance in 1967 was as Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner James Gordon, and she later became an ally of Batman and Robin in Gotham City. She was previously portrayed by Yvonne Craig in the campy ’60s Batman series, then by Alicia Silverstone (as Barbara Wilson, Alfred’s niece) in the equally-campy 1997 flop Batman & Robin. She was recently voiced by Rosario Dawson in The LEGO Batman Movie.
Whedon, who had previously written a treatment for his own Wonder Woman movie a decade ago, was last said to be working on a World War II horror movie, but he has stated previously that he would like to make a Batman film. Whether he will take a larger role overseeing the DCEU as he did during Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains to be seen, but for now that role belongs to Geoff Johns.
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