Last year, I wrote about the upcoming Batgirl movie. I spoke about how happy I was about at the news. I gleeful wrote about how the news Joss Whedon had signed on as the director. In the post, I examined some of the storylines I would like to have seen included in the movie. Of course, I posted this before Whedon’s ex-wife published her open letter. This was all before I experienced the joy of seeing the Amazons, Valkyrie and Dora Milaje on the big screen. My opinions have obviously changed since writing the blog post.
Last week, news broke that Whedon had walked away from the project. Initial articles stated he was “unable to find a story” Of course, this is ridiculous. Over the years many comic book storylines have featured Batgirl. Anyone one of which could be adapted into a feature film.
The news instead seems to point to yet more problems in with the DCEU franchise. The success of the Wonder Woman movies last year was a high point for the franchise. However, the Justice League movie (which Whedon worked on), was meet with mixed reviews, was a low point.
According to Wikipedia, there are over twenty possible films planned in the DCEU. Whilst some like the Wonder Woman sequel and Shazam movie, have tentative release dates. Over a dozen more are all in the planning stages. These include a Gotham Siren adaption, Flashpoint and The Batman reboot. Production on the Batgirl movie was due to start later this year. I’m assuming this will still happen. The success of Wonder Woman, shows audiences want to see female lead superhero movies. Batgirl is one of the best know DC women, along with Supergirl she is the obvious choice for the next movie.
All over the weekend, I have seen several blog posts featuring lists of “female directors who should direct the Batgirl movie.” I am not going to re-hash them here (but have included a few of the links at the end of this blog post). I will go on record as saying I am hoping Lena Dunham isn’t involved in the project, as I am not a fan of her work.
On Twitter, several authors expressed an interest in the project. Of course, we would all love to see Gail Simone write this movie, most comic book fans are familiar with her work. The New 52 reboot of Batgirl, with Barbara Gordon, once again redonning the cape and cowl. Is one of the more popular storylines and, is the obvious choice for the film. Similarly, I would love to see Hope Larson work on the movie. As the current writer of the Batgirl comics she is someone very familiar with the character, and personally, I love the ‘Summer of Lies‘ storyline.
Whilst it looks like the movie is still moving forward, which of course I am happy about. I do still have so many issues around its place with the DCEU as a whole. The Wonder Woman movie could exist outside of the franchise. Her storyline is not intertwined with other characters from the DCEU. Yes, there was the package from Bruce Wayne at the beginning, which served as a plot point. But she could have just as easily found the photo herself.
Batgirl’s origin story includes Batman. In both versions, young Batman intrigues the young Barbara Gordon. Originally, in the Detective Comics (which was later retold in Year One), she idolized Batman and Robin and saves them from Killer Moth. In the New 52 storylines, Batman is an important part of the plot.
But the DCEU is a Mess!
Which leads me to my problem. Can this movie work whilst the DCEU is a mess? Ben Affleck has expressed an interest in leaving the franchise. And the standalone Batman movie is on hold. Can they make a Batgirl movie with a new Batman, will that work? Should this movie be made after the new Batman reboot? Or will the Flashpoint storyline reboot the franchise, so recasting a new Batman would be possible.
Overall, I am happy Joss Whedon has left the Batgirl projects. I am excited to see a female director making another superhero movie and the possibility of a female writer. However, as with all projects in the DCEU at the moment, this news has left with more questions than answers.
9 Rad Women We’d Love To See Director Batgirl (Nerdist)
10 Female Directors Who Could Take on DC’s ‘Batgirl’ Movie (comicbook.com)
Batgirl: Year One
Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection TP (The New 52)
Batgirl: Summer of Lies
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All Images: © DC Comics