Champions of the Marvel Cinematic and DC Extended universes were both rocked last week upon news of Joss Whedon potentially helming a standalone “Batgirl” film. The director has so far made a splash with his Marvel directorial projects, “The Avengers” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
The news is undoubtedly exciting and begs the question of where Whedon would potentially take the character if the film gets fully green-lit. On top of that, there’s the real sense of curiosity in what familiar faces from the vast Whedonverse we could see in Batgirl’s outing. It may be putting the cart before the horse, but we at CBR are excited to think that some of these actors could pepper this latest superhero solo film.
15. JAMES MARSTERS
James Marsters is fairly well known among fans of Whedon’s past works. Marsters held the role of Spike, a punk rock-styled vampire with a passion for poetry, through several seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.” Spike started off as a villain in the series before progressing to one of Buffy’s love interests and eventual romantic rival to Angel. The character was a fan favorite all the way through his show’s eventual conclusion in 2004.
Marsters has dabbled in numerous other shows since Buffy’s heyday, but he remains a fantastic actor for a charismatic villain. He could easily fit in such a role for “Batgirl” as a henchmen or crime boss. Alternately, perhaps he could become an uneasy ally to the character? Either way, Marsters could clearly bring a lot to the table for the film and it would be nice to see his long-delayed return to the Whedonverse.
14. TOM LENK
Another “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” alum, Tom Lenk starred later on in the show as Andrew Wells. The character was a misguided nerd of sorts that very quickly found himself fighting for redemption alongside the other members of Buffy’s Scooby gang. Lenk briefly reprised the role of Andrew in a few episodes of “Angel.” The actor has also been seen in other Joss Whedon films including “Much Ado About Nothing” and “The Cabin in the Woods.”
The cool thing about Lenk is that he works well even in relatively minor roles. In the grand scheme of things, his presence as Andrew in “Buffy” didn’t carry a lot of weight, but his character was entertaining enough that he fit well in the series. If Lenk could visit that type of role in a Batgirl film, it would more than likely round out Whedon’s future interpretation of Gotham in this latest movie.
13. CHARISMA CARPENTER
Charisma Carpenter had a longstanding role within the early stages of the Whedonverse. She played a character named Cordelia Chase, who started off as simply a super popular cheerleader at Sunnydale High School in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Chase eventually got on board the whole fighting evil deal and progressed into the “Angel” series, where she acquired the ability to see impending danger through visions. Carpenter’s character played a large role throughout most the show until its conclusion.
Charisma is precisely that throughout her Whedonverse roles. Cordelia remained a longtime character due to her charm and wit in tackling supernatural problems every day. This is of course due in part by her being well written, but also Carpenter’s performance that made Cordelia come off as one of the more grounded characters in “Angel.” Seeing her make a snarky remark on the craziness of caped villains and crusaders running around Gotham City, even in a small aside, would be a fun plus to have in this future Batgirl film.
12. SUMMER GLAU
It’s probably safe to say that most (if not all) of Joss Whedon’s works carry a very strong fan following. Perhaps chief among them is the rather rabid fan base that surrounds the short-lived television show “Firefly.” Summer Glau played a key role in the series (and follow-up feature film) as child prodigy/living weapon River Tam. Alongside this iconic Whedonverse role, Glau also starred in episodes of “Angel” and “Dollhouse” respectively.
If there’s one thing an impending Batgirl film needs to have in spades, it is strong women kicking some serious ass. Summer Glau fits perfectly as an unassuming, but deadly adversary in her “Firefly” role, which can be easily applied to something within this new DCEU film. Besides her fairly obvious action chops, Glau is also skilled at playing cunning characters that are tough to read. This could easily feed into a future villain or even cautious ally (Huntress anyone?), but would certainly serve as a positive addition to this new Batgirl movie.
11. ADAM BALDWIN
Another “Firefly” alum, Adam Baldwin starred in the show as the lovable mercenary named Jayne Cobb. After the show’s run was cut short, Baldwin was seen in later episodes of “Angel” as the immortal businessman Marcus Hamilton who worked for the evil Wolfram and Hart. Both characters boasted their own doses of hard-headedness and sarcasm respectively. Cobb however, has likely garnered much more fan favoritism due to his status as a flawed hero, as opposed to Hamilton as a fairly even-keeled minor villain.
With both of these roles in mind, Baldwin is primed for whatever “Batgirl” could need. A hapless thug? A heroic assistant? Or maybe a full-on major villain? Any which way you slice it, Baldwin is a versatile actor and familiar face within the Whedonverse. Whatever spot he can manage to be fit into for the film, it’s bound to be entertaining in some way (and maybe include a new piece of iconic head wear).
10. MING-NA WEN
Yet another Whedeonverse actor that could contribute to the brimming need for females who kick ass on “Batgirl’s” roster, Ming-Na Wen is a total package. A relative newcomer to Joss Whedon’s projects, Wen plays Melinda May on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” May is a high-level operative within the organization, who is well-respected for her combat and strategic prowess.
Even though she hasn’t carried two or three roles in the Whedonverse, Ming-Na Wen remains one of the most badass additions to it as of late. In a world of caped vigilantes roaming Gotham, Wen would be an amazing force to see in the cast of “Batgirl.” While her range of roles have shown she could really play anything with ease, hopefully the new film could see Wen continue her trend in amazing action chops. Depending on what continuity the movie pulls from, she could fit in well as a trainer or teacher to the young vigilante.
9. J. AUGUST RICHARDS
This particular Whedonverse actor is a bit of a double threat when applied to potentially jumping in on the “Batgirl” flick. J. August Richards started in “Angel” playing the young vampire hunter turned business executive, Charles Gunn. However, his talents have strayed into the superhero realm before. Richards also acted in several episodes of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” where he played Mike Peterson, a human character who was experimented on to eventually become Deathlok.
Richards is another strong actor who has peppered the Whedonverse over the years. From a very grounded vigilante to a boardroom power house and everything in between, he’s very capable of playing a variety of characters. He could fit easily as a member of the Gotham City criminal justice system or as an evil lurking mastermind in the underground. Richards would definitely make a positive addition to a “Batgirl” film, hopefully on the side of the hero rather than working against her.
8. DAVID BOREANAZ
David Boreanaz only really held one role so far in the Whedonverse, but boy, did he make it count. In the early days of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Boreanaz debuted as Angel, a centuries-old vampire whose presence was a consistent romantic mainstay for the young slayer. More than a handful of episodes later, Angel was given his very own titular spinoff show that lasted approximately five seasons before its conclusion.
Considering that Boreanaz has yet to reemerge into the Whedonverse (likely due to his starring role in the successful TV show “Bones”), a “Batgirl” movie might just be the place for him to come back into play. Given his previous roles as a vampiric detective of sorts, he could work as a member of the Gotham City Police Department. Another potential angle would be to have Boreanaz make a splash as a charismatic villain or even older influential figure to the hero. The possibilities are endless for this actor, so even the smallest role would be worth it to see him back within Whedon’s work.
7. AMY ACKER
A fantastic mainstay to the Joss Whedon universe, Amy Acker started off playing Winifred Burkle in the second season of “Angel” all the way through to the end of the series. Her character blossomed from an painfully socially awkward scientist to a strong, smart and brave character that assisted the Angel Investigations team. Acker later made appearances in other Whedonverse projects such as “Dollhouse,” “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in a variety of roles.
Acker herself has a wide range in acting ability, boasting every character from the meek and mild, to serious and even villainous. She would make for a tremendous addition to “Batgirl” pretty much regardless of the role she would be given. Since details are thin right now as to which iteration of the hero the film would revolve around, it’s difficult to say who exactly Amy would suit well to playing. Acker could work as an introductory villain, helpful member of the police force or some other character that would have a pivotal influence on Batgirl herself.
6. ALEXIS DENISOF
Talk about a guy who loves working with Joss Whedon. Denisof has acted in approximately five of the director’s projects over the years. He debuted as the wimpy Watcher named Wesley Wyndam-Pryce in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” before making the jump to “Angel” and growing the character. He also starred in several episodes of “Dollhouse,” as well as Whedon’s black and white take on “Much Ado About Nothing.” Even more surprising, Denisof acted in “The Avengers” as a mysterious servant of Thanos known as The Other.
It’s hard to find a role that Denisof wouldn’t fit in some way, shape or form. From eccentric and charming, to gruff and cunning, he’s covered a wide spectrum of characters in the Whedonverse thus far and doesn’t appear to be stopping. Any one of Batgirl’s many allies or foes could be ripe roles for Denisof to put his own spin on in this new film.
5. HARRY LENNIX
There’s much love among fans regarding the short-lived television series “Dollhouse.” Harry Lennix is the lone actor on this list to boast his only Whedonverse credit (thus far) on that particular show, portraying Boyd Langton. Langton was an ex-cop that takes on the duties as Echo’s handler. Boyd was a character wrested with guilt but fiercely loyal to the ones he protects, and served as a strong force to the overall cast.
Lennix is a bit of a cheat here, as he has a one-up on the competition with his fellow Whedonverse actors: he’s already embedded in the DCEU universe. Lennix actually portrayed General Calvin Swanwick in both “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Seeing as how he’s been established in previous films, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Lennix’s character getting a quick aside or cameo in the Batgirl film. If it does happen, maybe Swanwick could be on the side of the hero, considering the aftermath he’s dealt with from Superman’s numerous clashes as of late.
4. ELIZA DUSHKU
Yet another entry of strong female characters in the vast Whedonverse, Eliza Dushku starred early on in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as the tough-talking, impulsive and rowdy slayer named Faith. The character intermittently appeared throughout the show, as well as in several episodes of “Angel.” Dushku eventually netted a lead role in Whedon’s series “Dollhouse,” playing the incredibly capable Echo.
It’s not hard to think of Dushku making an appearance in the “Batgirl” film. One hopes that it would be in a role that boasts her quintessential devil-may-care attitude of her previous Whedonverse characters. What would be potentially more interesting is if Dushku could play an ally to Batgirl in the new film, or even a rival in combat prowess. It’s still way too early to make too much of a speculation, but Eliza is one face fans would be more than happy to see in the big screen realm of Batgirl.
3. NATHAN FILLION
Let’s be honest, there was no avoiding this one on the list. A longtime actor, Nathan Fillion has earned the adoration of many fans for his various roles within the Whedonverse. His most notable (and beloved) is undoubtedly that of Captain Malcom Reynolds in “Firefly.” The character was full of sass and ever stalwart in his beliefs, becoming a fan favorite long after the show’s conclusion. Fillion would go on to act in a number of other Whedon works afterwards, including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.”
Whenever something calls for an injection of humor in the Whedonverse, Fillion wouldn’t be far away. His natural charisma and charm make him well-suited to whatever gets thrown at him. What’s great is that Fillion does positively in smaller roles if needed, so even if he was simply some civilian getting saved by Batgirl, he would more than likely make it more memorable. He’s an actor that doesn’t need much to make a splash, and would be a fun inclusion to have in this newer film.
2. ALAN TUDYK
Here’s a face that isn’t familiar just to enthusiasts of Joss Whedon’s work, but a rather wide variety of pop culture fans. Tudyk’s first role within the Whedonverse was that of Hoban Washburne (nicknamed Wash in the show). Wash was the pilot of the smuggling ship named “Serenity,” and was known for his frantic skills getting the vessel through tense situations. Tudyk would eventually show up in another Whedon TV series called “Dollhouse,” where he played a rogue doll named Alpha.
Tudyk himself is a joy to see on the big or small screen. He isn’t limited in his roles, as he easily ramps up the drama in serious work or turns on the humor in his more comedic spans. Tudyk also carries some thin ties to the Gotham City character via one of his other roles in the non-Whedon show “Powerless,” as he plays Bruce Wayne’s cousin Van Wayne in it. Whether the film moves forward with this fun connection or simply puts Tudyk in a small cameo, audiences would be happy to see him either way.
1. SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR
Over the years, Joss Whedon has garnered a reputation for creating strong characters that interacted well with each other. His stories excelled at focusing in on powerful female characters to drive the story and Buffy Summers was the first. Sarah Michelle Gellar portrayed the teenage vampire slayer throughout her formative high school years and saw her become an emboldened young woman by the end of its seventh season. Gellar was tough, but also played her quirkiness well into the character and made Buffy truly relatable (despite her supernatural hobbies).
Seeing Gellar back in a Whedonverse project would be a long time coming, but also incredibly fitting of this new material. Her core role on “Buffy” was that of a young woman training to protect her town from threats of all kinds, and that’s not terribly far from Batgirl herself. Gellar could make for a fantastic mentor character or even a powerful villain, but having her appear in the movie would make Whedonverse fans downright giddy.
Which actors are you hoping show up in Whedon’s “Batgirl?” Let us know in the comments!