Avengers and Justice League director Joss Whedon has stepped down from directing the Batgirl film project for Warner Bros.
The ripples from the commercial and critical failure of Justice League continue.
Joss Whedon, who stepped in to finish Justice League once director Zack Snyder stepped aside (or was fired, depending who you ask) has announced in a piece on The Hollywood Reporter he is leaving Batgirl.
The project, which was revealed with much fanfare in March of last year, was going to be written and directed by Whedon. The news was met with almost universal praise by fans and news outlets alike with the thinking being that if Whedon could do the same for Barbara Gordon that he did for the Avengers, moviegoers would be in for a treat.
Funny how much can change in a year.
Wonder Woman arrived in theaters and became the first real box office and critical hit for Warner Bros. and their floundering DC Extended Universe. The fact the film was directed by a woman was not lost on anyone and questions about if Whedon should be directing Batgirl started to come to the surface.
Then of course Whedon infamously stepped in to direct the reshoots and help change the tone of Justice League from Snyder’s original vision. The result was a movie no one particularly liked and which bombed at the box office. While the was more than enough blame to go around, Whedon took his fair share, deserved or not.
Combine that with the double whammy of the #MeToo movement and the fact Black Panther, a film about an African American superhero that was directed by an African American, was released to universal acclaim and Whedon likely saw the writing on the wall.
For his part, Whedon told THR that it came down to simply not being able to come up with a story for the character that he though could work.
“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 [DC president Geoff Johns and Warners Picture Group president Toby Emmerich] and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed’?”
Of course, we won’t mention that it seems odd you would agree to write and direct a project as high profile as Batgirl and not have some small idea for a story going in. But who are we to judge?
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A separate report on Tracking Broad.com confirms that Warner Bros. is still high on a Batgirl film and are looking for a female director to take on creative control of the movie. With Batgirl set to begin filming sometime after Wonder Woman 2 wraps production this summer, the clock is ticking if they don’t want to have to push the release date back.
Keep it here on The Fanboy Review for more updates as they happen.