Joss Whedon has announced that he is bowing out of DC’s Batgirl movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), Whedon’s reason for giving up the director’s chair on this project was that he realized he didn’t have a story that would bring the iconic comic-book character to life on the big screen.
“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,” he said in a statement to THR. The Justice League director went on to thank Warner Bros. Picture Group president Toby Emmerich for being welcoming when he joined the project and “understanding,” now that he is making his exit.
As THR notes, Whedon got the Batgirl directing job last year when the goal was to make “companion” movie to the groundbreaking Wonder Woman film, where the main character was linked to one of DC’s most valuable properties, Batman.
The move from Whedon could derail plans for the Batgirl movie and delay the film ever becoming a reality. So, you would think that the news of Whedon stepping down would disappoint DCEU fans. But many on social media seemed happy that Whedon was abandoning the project.
Some criticized the director for accepting the job without knowing how he would tackle the story.
“It took Patty Jenkins nearly 10 years to finally get a chance to direct Wonder Woman,” Twitter user @atomicwick wrote. “WB/DC just handed Batgirl over to a dude who didn’t even have a basic idea of what he wanted the film to be like.”
Others hoped that Whedon’s departure would make way for a female director for Batgirl. Whedon is no stranger to directing projects led by a strong female character. He is the creator of the very successful TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Still, several avowed DC fans expressed that they felt DC needed a woman for the job. Some of the names Twitter users suggested were Mudbound’s Dee Rees and Zero Dark Thirty’s Kathryn Bigelow.
According to Comic Book, WB/DC has not announced what’s in store for the Batgirl movie now that Whedon is gone. It was originally announced as one of DC’s next wave of films that would also include Flashpoint, The Flash event movie. But now that Whedon is out and the future of Batgirl is up in the air, DC’s next lineup of films will also feature, Aquaman, Shazam, Wonder Woman 2, Suicide Squad 2, the Joker’s origin story, The Batman, and Flashpoint.