Some things aren’t just meant to be. Despite making the jump from Marvel Studios to DCEU, it looks like Joss Whedon‘s vision for Batgirl won’t come true. It’s been confirmed that the Justice League director has exited the project, leaving Batgirl without a director. More on the story below.
The report comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter, who obtained a quote from Whedon on the matter. Here’s what he had to say:
“Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realize I really didn’t have a story. I’m grateful to Geoff and Toby and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I…uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed?'”
Usually, whenever this happens it is because the studio and the director could not agree on a vision. However, it sounds more like Whedon is admitting he cannot bring us a Batgirl film that everyone would appreciate. In the report, THR says that Whedon spent a year trying the crack the story, but was unable to do so.
That being said, one has to wonder if Whedon’s history with the studio and some allegations have anything to do with his departure. Whedon first signed on to direct Justice League when Zack Snyder made an early exit in order to address a tragic family issue. This left Whedon to work on the post-production end, which led to costly reshoots – with most of the expenses laughably coming from digitally removing Henry Cavill’s mustache (he was contractually obligated with Paramount to keep the facial hair for his role in Mission: Impossible – Fallout).
Unfortunately, the DC film did not pan out to be the hit that WB hoped it would be. Instead, Justice League was a commercial and critical flop, with other films quickly passing its total gross within a matter of days.
Another thing that might have affected the project was when Whedon was accused of hypocrisy. Despite being a staunch feminist, Whedon’s ex-wife said that he is a hypocrite, accusing the filmmaker of having multiple affairs during their marriage. In the times of the TimesUp and MeToo movements, it’s probably not going to look good for Batgirl to have someone like Whedon, or any man at this point, on board as a director.
In addition to that, it is probably best if a female director was behind the lens of Batgirl anyways. The industry needs to promote more female filmmakers. They are out there. They are just as much of a fan of comic books as men are. So it wouldn’t be right to deny them the chance to direct.
Even in times of a shared superhero universe, it is hard to tell where Batgirl would fit into the DCEU. In the comics, Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner Gordon, is the female counterpart to Batman. Like Batman, she is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and is also an expert hacker.
No word yet on who WB is looking at as Whedon’s replacement, but you can be sure we will keep you up to date as news comes in.