Joss Whedon to Write, Produce, and Direct Batgirl

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Once upon a time, news of this caliber would’ve dropped me to my knees and according to a report today from Variety, it’s on like Donkey Kong with Joss Whedon set to write, direct, and produce an upcoming solo Batgirl film. If there were any movie out there that I’d love to see Whedon tackle, it’s Batgirl. However, given the current state of the DCEU, Batfleck’s rumored reluctance to move forward on any new projects, and the recently released trailer for the upcoming Justice League film which left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths, I’m not so sure now is exactly the right time for Whedon to jump headlong into this particular cinematic endeavor.

On the other hand, perhaps Whedon is the breath of fresh air that the DCEU desperately needs. His lighthearted and otherwise jovial approach to dialog could be the thing that railroads Warner Brothers off of its current doom and gloom trajectory. My fear, however, is by the time this movie rolls around (as it currently has no release date) that it will be too little too late.

As of yet no other producers are attached to the movie so it’s unclear is Zach Snyder will still be around, but it’s hard to imagine a Whedon/Snyder team up film as both directors have fairly distinctive styles. In fact, with DC/WB’s known level of producer meddling, it’ll be interesting to see if Whedon even takes this project to completion, but it’s hard to believe he would’ve signed on without some insurance in the bag to help him make the film he wants to make. Given his history with the MCU and his distaste for studio interference, it’ll be interesting to see how this project progresses. He notoriously left the MCU after exhausting himself on Avengers: Age of Ultron in which he scuffled with the studio over key scenes and tie-in scenes to upcoming films, most notably the Thor/whirlpool scene meant to hint at Taika Waititi’s, Thor: Ragnarok. 

The DCEU’s current universe of films has been met with critical revile, with all of their films receiving a certified “rotten” rating on movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes. In fact, the highest ranking film in their collected universe so far is Man of Steel which features a 49% top critics rating followed by Batman V. Superman with 23% and Suicide Squad at a paltry 19%. It should also be noted that overall fan scores are only a few points higher on each of these films, meaning that by and large, they haven’t sat well with most people.

The next DCEU movie to release is Wonder Woman which arrives on June 2nd, 2017 which will be followed by the first installment of the Justice League on November 17th, 2017. If these films are met with similar critical and fan reaction, that would mean that their first five outings are largely bust and begs the question if the DCEU will even be around long enough for Whedon to take his turn.

Whedon has recently been making the rounds in honor of the 20th anniversary of his fan-favorite television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but people have been wondering for some time what his next major project would be. Now that we know, only time will tell in regard to how his influence will help guide the future of the DCEU, or if he can actually help at all.

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