The saga surrounding the Batgirl movie just got a whole lot more interesting. Not only has Joss Whedon exited as director of the project, but it's now being reported that Warner Bros. is looking for a female director to bring Batgirl to the big screen. Whedon boarded the project as a writer, producer and director last year as one of the many movies that Warner Bros. is, or was, developing as part of their live-action DC slate. The question is, who might this female director be and is there more to this than we're currently hearing?
Batgirl is a rather complicated situation now. There's no guarantee that the movie will even get made at this point now that Joss Whedon is no longer involved. That said, according to The Tracking Board, should the Batgirl movie move forward at all, Warner Bros. and newly appointed head of DC Films Walter Hamada will look to hire a female director. Here's what they had to say about it.
"Should the project movie move forward, Warner Bros. and new DC chief Walter Hamada plan to hire a female filmmaker for Batgirl, who has never had her own movie despite the character's popularity."
This makes complete sense. Wonder Woman is far and away the most successful movie in the DCEU so far and it was largely thanks to Patty Jenkins' being in the director's chair. It would make all the sense in the world to bring a talented female director on board for Barbara Gordon's first ever solo movie. Interestingly enough, Joss Whedon was also developing a Wonder Woman movie at one point. This whole situation is made even more interesting when considering that statement released by Whedon in regards to why he's leaving Batgirl.
"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. I'm grateful to Geoff [Johns] and Toby [Emmerich] and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I... uh, is there a sexier word for 'failed'?"
So it doesn't sound like he was fired, but one has to imagine that if The Tracking Board's report is accurate, they were considering a female director for Batgirl prior to this statement being released. Joss Whedon's work on Justice League also needs to be considered. That movie dramatically underperformed at the box office and there's plenty of blame to go around. It's not likely that Warner Bros. is dumping the lion's share of that blame on Whedon's shoulders, but the fact that Justice League wound up tanking certainly didn't help the chances of his Batgirl movie getting made.
Currently, the future DCEU slate is up in the air. It looks like Flashpoint is definitely going to happen, as well as Suicide Squad 2, in addition to the already-in-production Shazam movie. Beyond that, few things seem certain. However, if Batgirl does happen, don't be surprised if there's a woman in the director's chair. This news was first reported by The Tracking Board.