JOSS WHEDON MAY BE WRITING AND DIRECTING A BATGIRL FILM!! DC MIGHT ACTUALLY BEGIN TO HAVE GOOD MOVIES!! OH MY GOD!!
Deep breaths have been taken. As anyone who has been following my inane ramblings on this site would know, I’m some what of a JossWhedonfan(atic). So it’s no surprise that I’m pretty much over the moon that he’s set to be helming one of comicdom’s most significant heroines.
While Whedon was famously set to direct an earlier attempt at a Wonder Woman movie, he was infamously fired only to be replaced by McG. Yes, McG.
Of course, Whedon’s departure from Wonder Woman was nothing short of heart-breaking. Any hopes of seeing the character being given a respectable movie was flushed with the announcement of the man who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer being replaced by the man who managed to (somehow) further sexualise Charlie’s Angels.
But now the news is that he may be directing a Batgirl film instead… which is perfect because Batgirl is a far more suitable heroine for Whedon! Here’s why:
I love Wonder Woman. The character carries every trait associated to superheroes and is more than just a “female Superman.” But unlike her fellow members of the Trinity, Wonder Woman lacks the touch of familiarity that one only gains from being brought up alongside humans.
Basically, she isn’t very funny or witty.
Not wit in the sense of intelligence of course (she was blessed by Athena, after all), but in the sense of humour. Outside of some dry sarcasm, and some unintentional humour when observing humans, Wonder Woman isn’t exactly the type to crack a joke. Batgirl, however, can be a borderline comedienne is she chooses to be.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll assume that the Batgirl in question is mainstay Barbara Gordon. Slightly more bookish than her successors (but helluva lot more intelligent than most of the Bat-family), Barbara would be a great opportunity for the kind of dialogue for which Whedon is best known.
Barbara is essentially a mixture of Buffy and Willow—a fighter with the brains of a hacker. Given Whedon’s love for subversion and juxtaposition, not only would this be suited to him, but he’d also be able to lay the groundwork for Oracle.
She has a Better Supporting Cast
Name three regular characters in Wonder Woman that aren’t Greek Gods/Amazons, Wonder Girls, or crossovers from other titles?
Well, to say that there are none would be highly unfair, but beyond Steve Trevor and Etta Candy, are there any that actually matter?
Batgirl, much like her source of inspiration, has almost always been surrounded by a rich cast of friends and family. While obvious candidates like Batman, any current Robin, a certain gentleman by the name ‘Dick’, or her father, Commissioner Gordon, are definite options for supporting character in the movie, there are also other peripheral characters that would suit the Whedon school of writing.
She Could be Someone Else
While the film will almost definitely be about Barbara Gordon, there are actually more options to don the mantle of Batgirl. All of whom would be perfect Whedon territory.
Unlike Barbara, Cassandra Cain is a tortured, silent crusader walking the line between hero and anti-hero. Given his writing for Dollhouse, Cassandra may be up Whedon’s alley more so than Barbara. Also, with the DCEU’s overt dark tone, Cassandra would be the more logical choice.
Alternatively, DC could introduce a ray of sunshine and bring in (my personal favourite) Stephanie Brown.
Previously known as Spoiler, Stephanie would make for an interesting character given her villain father—the Cluemaster. While Stephanie had a short stint as Robin before dying (don’t even) and returning to fulfil the mantle of Batgirl, the film could introduce her as a vigilante trying to end her father’s schemes and adopting the ways of the Bat. Snarkier and brasher, Brown would benefit a lot from Whedon’s writing—especially if he chooses to bring along frequent collaborator Jane Espenson along for the ride.
Most importantly, however, is that this would allow Barbara to be aged accordingly with the Batfamily of the DCEU. With a back-from-retirement Batman, and a dead Robin, Barbara should logically be living her Oracle phase of life. Given her role as a mentor to many female superheroes during this era, including being the off-field leader of Birds of Prey. Not only would this essentially be the ultimate Whedon writing gig, it could also help set-up or spin-off the planned Gotham City Sirens film.