DC fans, rejoice. It looks like Batgirl will be coming to the big screen and as the star of her own movie.
The movie, should it move forward in to production, will be helmed by Joss Whedon. Whedon – at this stage in the process – is negotiating to write, direct and produce the movie.
Along with Geoff Johns and Jon Berg, the Warner Brothers Chief Content Officer, Toby Emmerich, is also attached to the new project.
Adding Batgirl in a solo film to the DC Extended Universe is a smart move. It serves to further bolster their stable of female heroes and keep them in the lead in terms of putting forth female heroes on their own (and rightfully so). Batgirl will join Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn as Cinematic Superstars of the DCEU.
Some of you may be wondering “Who is Joss Whedon?” and, for those of you new to comic books or new to DC may be asking yourselves “Who is Batgirl?” Let’s answer both of those questions right now.
The Barbara Gordon Batgirl that we know today has actually been around for a long, long time. She first appeared in Detective Comics # 359 in January of 1967. The daughter of Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, daughter Barbara exploded on to the scene in a story called “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!“, written by Gardner Fox and the legendary Carmine Infantino.
Other characters have taken up the role of Batgirl such as The Huntress (Helena Bertinelli), Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown and (Prior to ‘Tec 359) Betty Kane as Bat-Girl.
It was the controversial book Seduction of the Innocent by Fredric Wertham in 1954 that served as the catalyst for the arrival of Bat-girl. To counter rumor proposed by Wertham, the writers of Batman decided to introduce female love interests for Batman. First, was Kathy Kane and later Betty Kane. It wasn’t until a few years later that Barbara Gordon replaced Betty.
In the 1980s, Alan Moore took the character and changed her life forever. In fact, he changed readers lives forever with one story: The Killing Joke. In that iconic story line, The Joker kidnaps Barbara Gordon and shoots and paralyzes her. It is later on that she becomes The Oracle while Cassandra dawns the purple cowl. Stephanie Brown, who also goes by The Spoiler, was the one who later picked up the mantle after Cassandra and this continued through DC’s New52. Finally, Gail Simone returned Barbara Gordon to the mantle as she was the most famous and well-known iteration of Batgirl.
It is this version – the Barbara Gordon version – that will presumably find her way to movie theater screens.
Joss Whedon has been a film writer and director for quite some time and has even dipped his toe in the comic book writer pool with his run on the now-famous Astonishing X-Men title. Whedon’s other credits include Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Angel, Dollhouse, Titan A.E., as well as numerous other projects for the last few decades.