DC’s Extended Universe has been growing at a pretty quick pace following the releases of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad. A standout character of those films has so far Ben Affleck’s dark and imposing Batman, who is set to lead a new team of heroes when Justice League hits theaters later this year.
DC Films has announced a few followups to the already released slate of films that seem to focus heavily on Batman and his related characters, including David Ayer’s Gotham City Sirens (starring Suicide Squad‘s Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn), a solo Nightwing film (starring maybe one of these guys?), and the recently announced solo Batgirl film, directed by Joss Whedon.
Whedon is obviously most well known for his work with the competition, having written comics for Marvel before signing on to write and direct the first two Avengers films for Marvel Studios. He spoke recently about his new gig with DC Films, his plans for Barbara Gordon, and how he plans to cast her:
“I have so many things to say about her, I’m very excited to see a girl in the cowl,” Whedon said to start.
When asked about casting for the film, he replied: “I don’t have my eye on anybody. I’m creating this character, I’m in a dialogue with her and then we’ll see who joins that later on… I doubt it’ll be a name. I think this is somewhere where you go and find Batgirl and then you cast her.”
The outlet pressed him on casting a “fresh face” for the project, to which he said: “I’m not against movie stars, they’re great, but you need somebody who’s going to be just right, and a situation like this the name carries a lot of weight, so it’s not as critical.”
As for what his former superhero studio thinks about the news, Marvel Studios Overlord Kevin Feige revealed to THR:
“He called a couple months ago, which he didn’t have to do and was super cool of him and super nice of him,” said Feige. “And we couldn’t be more supportive. We want to see a Joss Whedon Batgirl film be awesome.”
It’s always great to hear about studio cooperation, even though Joss Whedon is by no means exclusive to Marvel Studios. We can certainly echo their sentiment, as having Whedon on board to make a good adaptation of Batgirl is what fans want to see, including Marvel Studios. Whedon famously left the Avengers franchise after Age of Ultron – citing the amount of time and energy it takes him to produce the big-budget ensemble blockbusters – with the Russo Bros. taking on Avengers: Infinity War and the fourth Avengers film.
With Batgirl, Whedon is given a chance to shine with his specific strengths, including writing for strong women and an understanding of comic book action that helped make the Avengers franchise a success. Without the huge star-filed cast and moving pieces to organize, we could be poised to see the best Whedon has to offer. Which is something Barbara Gordon absolutely deserves, especially considering her last half-assed appearance in Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin, played by Alicia Silverstone (though her character was actually Barbara Pennyworth, Alfred’s niece).
The solo Batgirl film is rumored to be based off of the New 52 series written by Gail Simone – who has written some of the best Batgirl stories – which saw Barbara Gordon return to the cape and cowl, following years spent working as Oracle, an information agent that worked with Batman, the Justice League, the Birds of Prey, and many other heroes of the DC Universe. No word on whether we’ll see a version of Oracle in the film, though considering we are being introduced to these characters well into their vigilante careers, it’s likely it would be mentioned, at least in flashback. If so, Expect to see Jared Leto in said flashback if he remains in the role, as the Joker is key to Barbara’s transition to Oracle, as we saw in Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Batman: The Killing Joke.
Were you on the fence about Whedon taking on a solo Batgirl film? Have his statements about the film changed your mind at all? Let us know in the comments section below and join the discussion on the GEEK FB!
Images: DC Comics