We’re more than a little happy about the increasing number of female superheroes getting standalone movies and series—and this next matchup has the potential to be amazing.
Variety reports that Joss Whedon is close to signing a deal to write, direct and produce a new Batgirl movie. Whedon, the creative mind behind such fan favorites as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the oft-mourned Firefly, has received critical acclaim and praise for his nuanced handling of female characters—particularly warrior women—and previously wrote and directed both “The Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” for Marvel.Thus far, though, DC movies have had a grittier feel than their Marvel-Disney counterparts, and we’re curious to see where Whedon might go.
Batgirl’s first appearance in the DC comics universe was in 1961 as Betty Kane’s Bat-Girl, though the iconic Batgirl we’ve come to know and love is the 1967 replacement of Kane, Barbara Gordon. Gordon is the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon, and made her debut in Detective Comics #359: “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!” As one of the caped crusaders operating in Gotham City, Batgirl has historically been an ally of Batman and Robin. Her appearance in Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke sparked intense debate about violence and the treatment of women in comics when, as a civilian, she is shot by the Joker and left paraplegic.
After an indeterminate amount of time and an additional incarnation as the information broker Oracle, Barbara Gordon is able to walk again and resumes her identity as Batgirl. There is certainly room for darkness there– though without further information there’s no way to know which storyline Whedon plans to take inspiration from and whether or not he’ll stick with canon.
A Batgirl film would mark the second DC movie to focus on a female lead, following the much-anticipated Wonder Woman, due out this June.