Joss Whedon’s reported departure from Batgirl presents Warner Bros. with a chance to hire the female director that the superheroine deserves, while also helping studio duplicate its success with Wonder Woman rather than its failure with Justice League.
Considering his history working on the first two Avengers films and TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, Whedon wasn’t a particularly bad choice to helm a solo film starring Barbara Gordon. However, he wasn’t the right choice, either.
Once praised for his ability to craft female characters, Whedon’s reputation has taken a number of hits in recent years. His much-touted feminism came into question following his problematic depiction of Black Widow in Age of Ultron, a film that was met with extreme backlash after its release, in part due to the revelation that he’d snuck a misogynistic British slur into the first Avengers movie. Behind-the-scenes, Whedon came under fire last year when Kai Cole, his ex-wife, penned an article alleging a pointed discrepancy between his professed feminism and his treatment of her during their marriage.
Justice League, the director’s first foray into the DC Extended Universe, has also met with a lot of negativity. Fan reaction to Whedon’s contributions to the film has been less than stellar, with thousands calling for the release of a cut that omits his work altogether. The fact of the matter is, Whedon just wasn’t the right choice to direct Batgirl anymore. And now that he’s off the project, Warner Bros. has the perfect opportunity to continue to bring new, diverse voices into superhero films.
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