Today we have some disappointing news, as it appears that The Avengers’ Joss Whedon has walked away from the upcoming Batgirl movie.
Whedon, who was a Marvel Cinematic Universe mainstay for many years, recently lent his hand to its DC counterpart by overseeing post-production on Justice League. Whedon took over the project following Zac Snyder’s unfortunate departure, and although that film wasn’t particularly well-received there was still an air of anticipation from fans who were excited to see what Whedon would do with another superhero property.
A comprehensive explanation for Whedon’s departure is yet to be disclosed, but the revered writer/director shed light on proceedings through a statement given to THR earlier this week:
“Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realise I really didn’t have a story.”
From this account it appears as though Whedon backed out of the project for narrative reasons, stating that he simply didn’t have an idea of where to take the film.
There are also suggestions from various sources that Whedon’s decision may have been influenced by today’s political and cultural landscape, in light of his struggle to find the right story, because greater scrutiny could be placed on a female-centric superhero movie helmed by a man. This is especially relevant following the runaway success of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, although as THR rightfully pointed out Whedon is seen as a “pioneering voice for female-focused genre fare” given his exemplary work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
In any case, it’s a shame to see such a talented director leave an exciting project, although it’s likely that Warner Bros. will look to move forward with a Batgirl movie at some point in the near future.