Joss Whedon to Direct Batgirl Solo Movie
According to ScreenRant.com, Joss Whedon is getting set to write and direct a Batgirl film set in the DC Extended Universe. The writer/director’s last entry in the comic book-based film universe was Avengers: Age of Ultron for the DCEU’s super rival, Marvel (and parent company Disney).
The DCEU is a Warner Bros. property. Whedon will also produce the solo Batgirl movie, which doesn’t have a confirmed title yet.
Variety notes that although Batgirl is one of the world’s most popular superheroes, the character has never had her own solo movie. According to her official DC Comics webpage, the original Batgirl made her debut in Batman #139 in 1961. Her powers are described as “combat strategy, advanced technology,” and exceptional martial arts skills.
Batgirl and her secret identity Barbara Gordon haven’t yet been introduced in the DCEU. Nor has Gordon’s father Commissioner James Gordon, although he will appear in the Justice League film, scheduled to come out on November 17, 2017.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Joss Whedon’s take on Batgirl will be inspired by New 52 Batgirl. That comics timeline, written by Gail Simone, has Barbara Gordon recovering from the spinal cord injury inflicted by The Joker that had her confined to a wheelchair and fighting crime as super-hacker Oracle. Simone’s Batgirl owes her recovery to an experimental surgery and struggles with the trauma she incurred at the Joker’s hands.
Interesting to note: In 1999, Gail Simone founded the WomenInRefrigerators website to draw attention to the suffering of fictional female characters, often to advance the plotlines of their male counterparts. Batgirl is on the character list. Whedon, meanwhile, is notorious for killing off fan-favorite characters. It remains to be seen how much of Simone’s New 52 storylines will influence Whedon’s Batgirl screenplay.
Joss Whedon’s last project, in 2016, was the “Save the Day” series of political ads. The ads urged voters to overcome their indifference and vote in the November 2016 election cycle.
No star of the Batgirl project has yet been announced. In the meantime, fans of strong female leads in comic book movies can look forward to the premiere of Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017.