Batgirl is about to spread her wings on the big screen, and a fan-favorite director will be taking the helm. Joss Whedon is said to be nearing a deal to write, direct and produce a Barbara Gordon solo flick for Warner Bros. as the latest addition to its DC Extended Universe of films.
Whedon had previously expressed an interested in writing and directing a Wonder Woman solo film before signing on to helm the first two Avengers movies over at Marvel Studios. He was actually attached to a Wonder Woman project back in 2007 before the film was canceled. Whedon is probably best known as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which depicted a smart, sassy, butt-kicking female lead, not unlike Barbara Gordon, making Batgirl a natural fit for the filmmaker.
No official word yet on any other details about the film, up to and including which version of Batgirl is likely to appear. Sources have told Entertainment Weekly that the film will take on the Barbara Gordon version of the character. More specifically, they claim the film will be based on the New 52 version of the character. Written by Gail Simone, this version of Babs had recently recovered from a spinal injury following her shooting by the Joker in The Killing Joke. During the series, she grapples with everything from Batwoman to the Joker to the Court of Owls, all while struggling to overcome her PTSD and return to the role she once played in the streets of Gotham.
The original report also teases other players from Gotham City will show up, and the most obvious option there would be Nightwing/Dick Grayson for a supporting role, along with her father, Commissioner Jim Gordon (JK Simmons) who will appear in the upcoming Justice League this November. Judging from this new report, other options include Batman, the Court of Owls, and the Joker.
The move to place Whedon in the writer and director's chair has already brought mixed feelings among fans. While Whedon has a devoted following and a reputation for writing strong female characters, many would prefer to see a woman behind the camera and in the writer's chair. Patty Jenkins will be the first woman to helm a superhero movie in one of the current three major cinematic universes when Wonder Woman is released in June, and battles to increase the number of women behind the camera of major blockbusters are hard (and rarely) won.
Batgirl is one of the most popular female heroes in DC's current line-up and has only ever appeared on the big screen once, in 1997's ill-fated and ill-received Batman and Robin.
So who do you think should don the cape and cowl?