In a surprise announcement from Warner Bros. today, Joss Whedon has been announced as the director for an untitled Batgirl film set within the DC Extended Universe. He will also be writing and producing the film, similar to the role he held over at Marvel Studios when bringing The Avengers to the big screen.
There hasn’t been much revealed about the film or Whedon’s road up to taking on the project, as he fairly publicly moved away from Marvel and their ongoing slate of films following his time on Avengers: Age of Ultron. This could mean very big news for DC’s Bat-family of characters, with Nightwing also rumored to be getting his own film in the DCEU. Of course, with this announcement Batgirl is a few steps closer than Nightwing with a very interesting eye behind the camera.
Joss Whedon is obviously no stranger to the comic book world, both as a writer of comics – he penned the fan-favorite Astonishing X-Men series – and director of the MCU’s Avengers franchise. He is known for bringing strong lead female characters to the small and big screens, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, and even big screen efforts like Serenity. He was even almost the man behind the camera for the long-in-production Wonder Woman film, well before the current DCEU had developed. Most recently he had been rumored to be taking on a solo Black Widow film, carrying on the success he had with the character over the first two Avengers films.
With the announcement of Batgirl that leaves his involvement in any future Black Widow film unlikely, unless it’s a number of years down the road. Announcing Whedon’s involvement with the Batgirl film at this time shows a lot of confidence in their choice by DC Films, who have continued to mold and adapt their upcoming slate to focus on the strongest points of their developing cinematic universe, namely Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gotham related characters like Harley Quinn, who is set to headline David Ayer’s Gotham City Sirens. The “problems” that solo film is currently facing aside, bringing Barbara Gordon to the big screen further fills out Gotham’s own unique corner of the DCEU, which is something we can definitely get behind.
While she’s much-beloved by comic fans, Batgirl might be more well-known to mainstream fans of the classic Adam West Batman TV series, where the characters of Batgirl and Barbara Gordon were first introduced, played by Yvonne Craig. Since then the character appeared in the comics, animated series, and even in live-action once before, played by Alicia Silverstone in the unfortunately-remembered Batman and Robin, where the character was modified to be Alfred Pennyworth’s niece instead of Commissioner Gordon’s daughter. She was rumored to play a part in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, especially following the casting and then cutting of Jena Malone in a, at the time, unspecified role, though the Extended Cut revealed that to not be the case.
Of course, now we all get to argue with each other over who should play Babs/Batgirl in Joss Whedon’s upcoming film, which is always the fun part. Who do you want to see in the cape and cowl of Batgirl? Do you think we’ll be seeing production of the film move forward quickly now that Whedon’s been announced? Let us know in the comments section below and join the discussion on the GEEK FB!
Images: DC Comics, Marvel Studios, Warner Bros.