Holy Shifting Brand Loyalty, Batman, we’re getting a Joss Whedon directed Batgirl movie! Indeed, fans of the DC Extended Universe at Warner Bros. can probably begin the hype train now, because Whedon, the prolific writer, director, and god among nerds, has finally found a follow-up to his one-two Avengers punch at Marvel Studios.
The news was broken by Variety on Thursday that WB is moving ahead with a Batgirl movie that could stand apart from Ben Affleck’s brooding corner of the DCEU. Whedon apparently got a very impressive deal from the the studio, since he has signed on to write, direct, and produce the superheroine picture. There are currently no other producers attached, but the movie will be overseen by the studio with Toby Emmerich, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros., and Jon Berg and Geoff Johns.
Whedon has had a long career creating and writing for female characters who kick ass, whether it be Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Summer Glau as River Tam in the Firefly and Serenity combo. He of course became an A-list director after the wild success of 2012’s The Avengers, yet he seemed to take more pleasure in his micro-budgeted William Shakespeare adaptation, Much Ado About Nothing, the following year than he did in the big budget superhero sequel that came afterward. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine that he will get more creative control for Batgirl than he had on Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Batgirl, aka Barbara Gordon, is one of the most important characters in Batman comic book mythology, and has become an independent and beloved superhero all her own. She first appeared in 1967’s Detective Comics #359, written by Gardner Fox and penciled by Carmine Infantino. The studious daughter of Commissioner James Gordon, Barbara secretly moonlighted as the adventurous and thrill-seeking Batgirl.
She eventually joined the “Bat-Family,” which includes Batman and his rotating posse of sidekicks before being grievously paralyzed by the Joker in Alan Moore and Brian Bollnd’s iconic (and controversial) The Killing Joke. Afterward, Barbara became another kind of aspirational figure for young children with disabilities as the Oracle, where she proved just as heroic operating from a wheelchair as she did in a cape. More recently, her time as the Oracle has been retconned from comic book history, and Barbara has been crime-fighting solo as a millennial heroine in the Batgirl comic book series.
Entertainment Weekly adds that the movie will apparently be based on Gail Simone and Ardian Syaf’s recent run on the character during the New 52 era, which saw the character in the days following her miraculous recovery from a spinal injury, and taking on new villains.
Arguably, a version of the character appeared in 1997’s infamous Batman & Robin. However, that Batgirl was one Barbara Wilson, niece of Alfred Pennyworth. She was played by Alicia Silverstone in that movie.
There’s no release date set at this time, but we’ll let you know when that changes.
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