Joss Whedon could be making his transition from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the DC Extended Universe. The “Avengers” director is reportedly in talks to write, direct and produce a “Batgirl” standalone film that will be part of the overarching DCEU.
According to Variety, Whedon is “nearing a deal” to helm the project. Toby Emmerich, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures Group is overseeing the film with Jon Berg and Geoff Johns, heads of DC Films.
The film would mark the second big-screen appearance of a live-action Batgirl, after the character made her debut, played by Alicia Silverstone (“Clueless”), in 1997’s “Batman & Robin.” The character has appeared in animated big-screen outings, most recently, in “The LEGO Batman Movie,” voiced by Rosario Dawson (“Daredevil”).
Having first appeared in 1967 as Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon, Batgirl was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino. The mantle of Batgirl has been taken up by several characters since Gordon, including fan-favorite Cassandra Cain. Gordon’s take on Batgirl saw a resurgence in recent comics thanks to the work of Cameron Stewart, Brendan Fletcher and Babs Tarr, who reinvigorated the concept with an updated costume and a new setting in “The Batgirl of Burnside.”
A “Batgirl” film would mark the second major female-driven superhero movie from Warner Bros. and DC, after the Patty Jenkins-directed “Wonder Woman,” in theaters this summer. Whedon himself was previously attached to a “Wonder Woman” film in the early ’00s, though those talks inevitably fell through.
In addition to serving as a major creative force at Marvel Studios throughout Phase 2 and 3 of the shared Cinematic Universe, Whedon is known as the fan-favorite creator of several television series, including “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Firefly,” “Dollhouse” and many others. Most recently, he directed “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and is set to tackle a yet-to-be-titled WWII-set horror project.
Having kicked off in 2013’s “Man of Steel,” the DCEU continued on the big-screen with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” in 2016. After “Wonder Woman,” the saga will continue in “Justice League,” “Aquaman,” “The Flash,” “Cyborg” and “Green Lantern Corps,” spotlighting the rest of DC’s flagship heroes. Additionally, there’s a “Suicide Squad” sequel in development, along with a “Gotham City Sirens” film — set to spotlight the villainous trio of Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman — a Matt Reeves-directed “Batman” solo film and a “Shazam” movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Black Adam.