Movies & TV / Columns

Looking at Candidates to Direct Batgirl

February 26, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Batgirl 26

Last week Joss Whedon left as writer and director of the Batgirl movie for Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. His reasons centered on story issues saying, “Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realize I really didn’t have a story.” Whedon went on to thank DC president Geoff Johns and Warners Picture Group president Toby Emmerich, saying, “I’m grateful to Geoff and Toby and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed’?”

Sources close to the situation told Variety that the decision for Whedon to depart was a mutual one and reflects the studio’s desire to seek more female directors, especially on projects centered on female characters.

So who should join the Batgirl project?

Whedon’s statement drew plenty of attention in Hollywood and had a number of people stepping up to lend their expertise to Batgirl. Author Roxane Gay threw her hat into the ring of potential writers for the movie and get some attention from DC. Gay tweeted saying, “Hey [DC Comics] I can write your ‘Batgirl’ movie, no prob.” Not too long after Michele Wells, a Warner Bros. vice president who also works on DC films, responded to Gay’s message. “If you’re serious… contact me,” Wells wrote, providing her email address. Gay responded saying, “Yes I am serious. I will email you.”

But who should they look to direct?

With Whedon’s exit, the door is wide open for DC to make a strong statement. First reaction, and most obvious, is to slide Patty Jenkins into the spot and semi-crown her the new “Zack Snyder”, giving her more creative control on the DC Cinematic Universe. She did a incredible job directing Wonder Woman and revitalizing DC’s buzz. Could lightning strike twice? Based on what she did with Wonder Woman, it would be worth the gamble.

The other big name is Kathryn Bigelow. With her extensive resume, you’d think she’d be able to step in with no problem. The only question would be the scope of Batgirls story. Will this be as big as Wonder Woman or are they looking at a more grounded, personal movie? If smaller, they may want to look for a newcomer to step up.

Like Michelle MacLaren. Yes, she’s a veteran TV director and she almost directed Wonder Woman, but we haven’t had a chance to see what she could bring to the big screen.

Other names being thrown around include Dee Rees (Mudbound, Pariah, Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), and a handful of others. It comes back to how DC wants to proceed with it’s movie universe. Does Batgirl have what it takes to be an A-list character and blockbuster movie? Can they make it an event? Their choice of who will direct it will give us a clue how they perceive her.

Who do you think should direct Batgirl?