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13 women we want to see make the Batgirl movie

Contributed by
Feb 23, 2018

Writer/director Joss Whedon announced that he's walking away from Warner Bros.' proposed Batgirl movie, telling THR, "It took me months to realize I really didn't have a story." With the exit of the Avengers director, we're hoping WB and DC will take this opportunity to up their representation game behind the camera, hiring women to write and direct the female-fronted superhero pic. 

So, here's our short list of wildly talented writers and directors we'd like to see make the Batgirl movie. Take note, WB. 

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Patty Jenkins
Duh. She's the director who helmed Wonder Woman, unquestionably the DCEU's most beloved offering to date. Jenkins captured not only the strength of her iconic superheroine in jaw-dropping fight scenes, but also a distinctly feminine joy with moments like the fashion montage, the slow dance scene, and the ice cream congratulations. Sure, she's got her hands full with Wonder Woman 2. But for Jenkins' Batgirl, we'd be willing to wait. - Kristy Puchko

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Dee Rees
This heralded writer/director made Mudbound, one of the best movies you might have missed last year. If the DCEU wants to keep to their dark tone, they'd be hard-pressed to find a better pick than Rees. With films like Mudbound, Pariah, and Bessie, she's tackled tough topics like racial prejudice, homophobia, and sexism. Each time she's done so with an aesthetic so rich it felt you could reach out and touch the textures, be they the glinting side of a beat-up city bus, the flapping sequin hung from a shimmery dress or the thick, or inescapable mud of a failing farm. Admittedly, Rees has no superhero titles to her credit. But she's a hell of a filmmaker and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, who could bring a grounded and breathtaking sense of drama to the franchise. Batgirl would be lucky to have her. - Kristy Puchko

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Rachel Talalay
For the past three seasons, Doctor Who fans have seen just how amazing Talalay's bag of tricks is. With a BBC budget, she's given vibrant life to some of the most memorable stories in the show's modern era. On top of that, she's no stranger to superhero stories, having worked on CW shows like The Flash and Supergirl, but perhaps most importantly her own iconic cult classic film: Tank Girl. It's far beyond time that this talented journeywoman director be handed the keys to a big flashy franchise. And given her DC experience, Batgirl feels like it'd be a perfect fit. - Riley Silverman

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Drew Barrymore
Do you want a fun and thrilling movie about a young woman discovering her tough side and learning to through her weight around? Who better to helm that tale than the director of the roller derby coming-of-age gem, Whip It? Sure, when Barrymore's behind the camera, it's most often as a producer, making movies like the action-packed reboot Charlie's Angels, the teen dramedy Freak Show, and her deliciously subversive cannibal comedy vehicle, Santa Clarita Diet. But we think it's time Barrymore returned to the director's chair and gifted us another grrrl story with grit, whimsy, and spunk. Kristy Puchko

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Lilly and Lana Wachowski

These sisters know spectacle. Together, this writing/directing duo has brought us the sci-fi splendor of The Matrix Trilogy, Jupiter Ascending, and Sense8Just imagine the rich world-building they could bring to the DCEU. Plus, the Wachowskis upped the game of action movies with the first Matrix. It's dizzying to imagine what kind of battle scenes Batgirl could get into with their limitless imaginations behind her. - Kristy Puchko

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Agnieszka Smoczynska

This little-known Polish director has made one of the wildest movies of all time. The Lure is one part fairy tale, one part rock musical, one part body horror, and it's all about man-eating mermaids. It throws audiences into the deep end with outrageous visuals both sensual and repulsive, then weaves a story of first love, sisterly bonds, and bloody mistakes. The Lure made me absolutely ravenous to see what Smoczynska will do next. So just imagine someone with this level of explosive creativity taking on a superhero narrative. We'd have a Batgirl who is beautiful, compelling, ferocious, and inescapably fun. - Kristy Puchko

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Nicole Perlman

It's thanks to this comics-loving screenwriter that we got The Guardians of the Galaxy movie. When Marvel let her pick a property to develop, she went for the misfits banging about space. Her draft hooked James Gunn who co-wrote the final screenplay and helmed the surprise hit that had audiences going gaga over a trash-talking raccoon, a dancing tree, and a strapping Star-Lord. Now, Perlman's pretty busy with her Captain Marvel script now in production, and her Black Widow script in the works. But maybe DC could land her and bring her eye for character quirks and talent for crafting ass-kicking heroines into their Batgirl? - Kristy Puchko

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Roxane Gay

What can't Roxane Gay do? She's written a bestselling collection of essays, Bad Feminist, a collection of short stories, Difficult Women, and a powerful memoir, Hunger. Her novel An Untamed State tells a story of deep trauma through a fairytale structure. Gay is helping co-write the screenplay for a film adaptation of that novel, as well. She's also written an incredible advice column as well as the delightful, queer Black Panther spinoff: World of Wakanda. Her work is feminist, fearless, and body positive, as in ALL bodies. What could she do with a superhero who has been abused, sexualized, and marginalized? Like I said, what can't she do? 

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And, hey, she's already offered her exceptional services. - S.E. Fleenor

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Diablo Cody
You want Whedon-level witticisms? Then may we suggest the badass screenwriter behind the divinely quirky coming-of-age comedy Juno, the twisted frenemies horror-comedy Jennifer's Body, and and the biting black comedy Young Adult. Cody has built her career on crafting complicated female characters who play by their own rules. She'd slay at cracking the code to Batgirl's story. - Kristy Puchko

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Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

You may not know her name, but I've got a good feeling you will soon. Robinson (photo center) has already shown skills and interest that would make her a perfect fit for Barbara Gordon's particular approach to crime fighting. As the creator and showrunner of MTV's gone-too-soon action dramedy, Sweet/Vicious, Robinson gave the world a college-aged superhero story for the #MeToo generation (before the #MeToo movement became what it is today). The show had a brilliant and hilarious wit and a point of view that resonated especially with young women. And really, what is Babs if not the perfect combination of Jules and Ophelia? - Tricia Ennis 

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Gail Simone

The only Barbara Gordon that I even remember at this point is Gail Simone’s version. Gail gave her agency, both as Batgirl and then when she revisited her as Oracle in DC's "Convergence" verse. Her version is more than just the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, more than just The Joker’s collateral damage. And I think Gail is so close to the character as well as the fans, that she would bring all of the genius, heroism, and snark we’ve come to love from Batgirl to the screen. - Karama Horne 

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Hope Larson

Another writer who has expressed an interest in taking on the big screen version of Barbara Gordon is Hope Larson, the current writer of the Batgirl comic series. Could you do better than someone who has been living with this character for more than a year? Larson has not only proved that she's intricately familiar with the character but she was also at the helm of a soft reboot when the Rebirth event launched, inheriting a Barbara Gordon fresh off a life-changing experience in Burnside, looking for a vigilante palette cleanser. If you want to skip the origin story, but still give audiences a Batgirl that is accessible, badass, adventurous, independent and fearless, then Larson might be exactly what you're looking for. - Tricia Ennis