Folks, if you had this big amazing dream that one day Joss Whedon (JOSS WHEDON!!!) was gonna helm that Batgirl movie just like “Buffy 2.0” wow so cool a match made in geek heaven…alas, it seems it was not meant to be.
The Hollywood Reporter recently ran an “exclusive” that Whedon was bowing out of the project. The reason given? Said Whedon:
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…
So Whedon has been involved with this project since March of last year but after realizing he just “didn’t have a story” he threw up his hands and let go of what has been a “passion project” for him?
Three factors were most likely at play here. First: the terrible reception of Justice League, a movie that was apparently wrenched out of Zack Snyder’s hands and thrown into Whedon’s lap at the last minute for a little bit of that Whedon magic.
Second: frankly, in this era of #MeToo, having a male director with possibly problematic issues in his background helm a movie about a young woman…the WB isn’t taking any chances anymore. They can’t afford to. If Whedon remained attached to this high-profile movie, he would be open to a new level of scrutiny that he never faced with his Marvel Studios work.
Thirdly, and this kind of dovetails from the previous two points: the titanic box-office of Black Panther has put the fear of God into Warner Bros. With the notable exception of Wonder Woman, their DC movies are just not “making it.” Time to shake things up. Quick.
In other news, Snyder apparently “liked” a tweet about Whedon leaving Batgirl (and how it possibly was a “good” thing). Is there a bit of schadenfreude behind-the-scenes here? Screen Rant goes deeper in some possible conspiracy theories.
As for my thoughts…certainly Joss Whedon can’t be the only go-to when seeking out a genuine and heartfelt rendering of the complexities of the young female psyche. I know it’s seemed the way for the past two decades at least, but…maybe now is the time to “think outside the box” regarding this.