Joss Whedon is in negotiations with Warner Bros. Pictures to direct, write, and produce a standalone BATGIRL film, the Tracking Board has confirmed. Toby Emmerich, Jon Berg, and Geoff Johns will oversee for the studio, although no other producers are attached at the time.
Currently, there is no more information about the project, including which Batgirl it could be about, although all signs point to Barbara Gordon, the most well-known of the Batgirls. First published in 1967, Barbara is the daughter of commissioner James Gordon and often fought alongside Dick Grayson’s Robin under the tutelage of Batman.
If the deal comes to fruition, it will be a huge move for several reasons, namely the fact that Whedon used to be the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, writing and directing both The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. The latter film especially created a divide amongst MCU fans, mostly for its depiction of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Now with Whedon jumping from one superhero universe to another to tackle a female-led film, fans are already expressing their differing opinions.
Divisive opinions on Whedon, particularly for his brand of feminism, are nothing new. While some fans are elated at the idea of Whedon helming a film about one of the most popular female characters in DC lore, others are hesitant or downright against the idea.
That isn’t the only reason this move is creating a shake-up in the DCEU, however. Whedon is known for his quippy and joke-heavy writing, which is a departure from the grim and gritty tone Warner Bros. has established within the DCEU so far. Could this be a sign that Warner Bros. is looking to make a change of course within its superhero universe? Quite possibly, though it’s still too early to tell, especially given this move is still just in talks.
Beyond his work with Marvel, Whedon is known primarily in the television world as the creator of series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Dollhouse. He’s represented by CAA.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by Variety.