Joss Whedon Will Write and Direct ‘Batgirl’
Joss Whedon has transformed the world of superheroics a few times now, with his groundbreaking feminist superhero television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and his landmark superhero team-up blockbuster The Avengers. But after the well-publicized issues he had making Avengers: Age of Ultron, it seemed as though the writer/director might have been taken an extended break from the genre… until now.
Variety reports that Joss Whedon will write, direct and produce a feature film about Batgirl, the beloved DC Comics superhero, who has appeared in multiple forms of media but never in her own live-action feature film. The Batgirl movie will be a part of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), a series of interconnected superhero films which also includes Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and the upcoming Wonder Woman and Justice League films.
The original Batgirl was Betty Kane, the niece and sidekick of Batwoman, but that early version of the character was abandoned in the 1960s. Later, for the live-action Batman television series, a new Batgirl was created. Her name was Barbara Gordon, she was the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, and she donned a cape and cowl to help Batman and Robin fight crime in Gotham City. This was the version of Batgirl that stuck in the popular consciousness, even though over the years the mantle was passed to multiple heroes in the comics, while Barbara Gordon spent years in a wheelchair, assisting other superheroes as a hacker called Oracle. The most recent reboot of the DC Comics universe now features Barbara Gordon back in costume, having made a complete recovery.
Although the Batgirl movie would be the character’s first solo feature film, it would not be her first appearance in live-action. Yvonne Craig played Batgirl in the popular 1960s Batman television series, Alicia Silverstone played the character in the ill-fated Batman & Robin, and Dina Meyer played Batgirl in the short-lived television series Birds of Prey.
Younger fans may be surprised that Joss Whedon has transitioned from a Marvel Cinematic Universe filmmaker to the DCEU, but this is not the first time Joss Whedon has worked on a DC superhero movie. Back in 2005, the filmmaker was attached to write and direct a Wonder Woman movie that, after a few years and old-fashioned creative differences, failed to come together.
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William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.