UPDATE: Since this initial report from Variety, EW has come out and shared some rumors from their sources regarding what to expect from this version of Batgirl. According to the outlet, they'll be using the New 52 version of the character as a starting point. Here's the quote:
"Sources tell EW that this version will be Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner Gordon, and the movie will use the DC Comics “New 52” version of the character as a starting point.
"It’s unclear how much of that series, written by Gail Simone, will be incorporated into Whedon’s film, but sources tell EW the movie will follow Simone’s harder-edged storyline rather than the more comical, playful 'Batgirl of Burnside' series that was rebooted in 2014, featuring the hero as a social-media obsessed student living in a hipster neighborhood of Gotham."
The "Batgirl of Burnside" series mentioned in the quote is pictured at the top of this piece, so don't expect any of that -- at least not now. Considering the early stage the film is in, there's always the chance it will change.
What in the world are Geoff Johns and the folks at Warner Brothers doing with the DC Extended Universe? If you've been keeping track of all the recent changes to their film slate -- and there have been a bunch -- it's starting to become evident that the road beyond Justice League is anyone's guess. There's lots of stuff happening, but it's kind of hard to trust anything until principal shooting on one of these things actually commences.
Well, today we learned something new about the DCEU... and it's just as confusing as everything else we've learned to date.
On the heels of last month's surprising Nightwing announcement, a film to be directed by Chris McKay, Variety announced that Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, The Avengers) is in late negotiations to write, produce, and direct a Batgirl movie. According to the outlet, the deal came together quickly, sometime over the last month.
You saw this one coming, right?
There are the obvious questions, such as which iteration of Batgirl will Whedon be referencing -- and there have been a bunch -- or whether the film will be part of the ongoing DCEU. The only clear indication we've heard is that Whedon's film will contain other DC characters, which clears up absolutely nothing.
Fortunately, we all know that Joss Whedon has a serious fondness for female heroes. His television and film heroines have been strong, dynamic, witty, and generally awesome. I don't think there's any doubt that Whedon can make a kickass Batgirl film.
However, the dark elephant in the cave is clearly Batgirl's relationship to Batman. Similar to Nightwing, you can't have a Bat-verse movie that doesn't reference or address the existence of Batman, whose shadow is obviously long and directly impacts the origins and storytelling for Nightwing and Batgirl... and could easily overshadow them both. Let's not forget, there's also more than a little conjecture regarding Ben Affleck's commitment to the cowl beyond Justice League.
As you might recall, last year's Suicide Squad was embroiled in a similar Bat-predicament. Many of that film's central characters came directly from Batman's rogues gallery. The film's few terse appearances by Affleck's Batman generated outcry by some, confusion by others, and a bit of a drag on the entire plot -- let's be honest, Batman's interactions with Deadshot were generally a whole lot more compelling than just about anything else in that film.
Warner Bros is leaning heavily into female-driven superhero films over the next few years, including: Wonder Woman, Gotham City Sirens, and now Batgirl. That's neither good nor bad, it's just an observation... but it's the closest thing we've got to any kind of tangible or credible strategy for the DCEU at this point, for whatever that's worth.
Are you excited about the prospect of a Joss Whedon written, produced, and directed Batgirl movie? Let us know in the comments down below!