Joss Whedon is out of the Batgirl director’s chair. He was expected to write, direct, and produce the upcoming Batgirl film, but that is no longer the case.
Whedon released the following statement announcing his departure:
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’?”
However, The Hollywood Reporter suspects Whedon might have faced pressure to bow out of the project in favor a female filmmaker.
Industry sources add that even as Whedon faced story issues, in today’s cultural entertainment environment, a male filmmaker may have faced greater public scrutiny if he were to have tackled a movie with such feminist importance such as Batgirl or Wonder Woman, much like a white filmmaker would have seen backlash taking on the Black Panther movie.
Whedon was the focus a scathing article written by his ex-wife Kai Cole who called him a “hypocrite preaching feminist ideals.” A spokesperson for Joss Whedon said the director did not have a comment, but “this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations.”
Whedon created Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy. Whedon is also an acclaimed superhero director. He helmed Marvel Studios’ The Avengers and also was attached to DC Films’ mediocre Justice League film.
I find it very suspect that Whedon spent the better part of the last year just twiddling his thumbs unable to come up with a story for Batgirl. There’s a plethora of source material both in the comics, the animated movies, and from television. It’s hard to believe the guy who came up with Dollhouse and Firefly is somehow unable to produce even a lousy script for Batgirl. I’m keen to believe The Hollywood Reporter that Whedon might have been pushed out due to his wife’s scathing article and the current entertainment climate.
What do you think? Are you happy Whedon is no longer attached to Batgirl after Justice League? Do you think he was pushed out or did he really not have a story?