In the wake of the news that Joss Whedon is no longer attached to Warner Bros.' upcoming Batgirl movie, the burning question now is just who will write and direct? Here's a novel idea - give the project to a woman.
Cover of Batgirl Rebirth #4Image: Francis Manapul (DC Comics)
Even if Wonder Woman - the most successfully-executed film in the DCEU to date - hadn't been helmed by a woman, putting a woman in charge of bringing Barbara Gordon to the big screen is a no-brainer. Unlike Batman and Robin, whose adventures are largely mired in the murky darkness of brooding masculinity (see: Batfleck), Batgirl is at her most awesome when she embraces the fact that she's a young woman having the time of her life kicking arse and taking names on the streets of Gotham.
Batgirl has the kind of narrative that would benefit immensely from being crafted by someone with the actual experience of actually being a badarse woman - and, unsurprisingly, there are plenty of female creators who would gladly take lead on the film.
Since Joss Whedon's departure, there's been an outpouring of offers to WB and DC from women who would be phenomenal for Batgirl. Bad Feminist and World of Wakanda author Roxane Gay was one of the more prominent voices offering to work with the studio, and Michelle Wells, a VP at Warner Bros., quickly responded to Gay's tweet asking her to kick off a potential conversation via email:
If you're serious...contact me. [email protected]
— Michele Wells (@michelewells) February 22, 2018
But Gay wasn't alone in voicing her interest in the film:
Yo, Hollywood, I have Batgirl stories. https://t.co/bFaRk4LmxX
— Hope Larson (@hopelarson) February 22, 2018
Let me write #batgirl - she’d be middle eastern and she’d be living in the caves of Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban and plot to take down Isis with the help of Wonder Woman and the rest of the justice league.
— Azita Ghanizada (@AzitaGhanizada) February 22, 2018
Um I'll write Batgirl.
I'll write the SHIT* out of Batgirl.
*actually guano; I know many bat facts.
— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) February 22, 2018
It's no secret that Warner Bros. has struggled to successfully get its comic book movies off the ground. It shouldn't be Batgirl's responsibility to completely rehabilitate the DCEU (or that other unconnected universe the company is working on), but a well-written and directed film about another empowering female character would go a long way to help restore a little faith in it. Also, WB, maybe next time you could try reaching out to talented women first, and not just for your female-focused projects.