‘Batgirl’ Movie: Joss Whedon to Direct Standalone Film (EXCLUSIVE)

Batgirl
Courtesy of DC Comics/REX/Shutterstock

Batgirl is flying solo. The superheroine is getting her own standalone movie from filmmaker Joss Whedon.

Whedon is nearing a deal to write, direct, and produce an untitled Batgirl pic for Warner Bros. as part of its DC Extended Universe.

No other producers are currently attached. Toby Emmerich, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, is overseeing with Jon Berg and Geoff Johns. The new project originated in the past month following a meeting between Whedon, Berg and Johns.

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Batgirl is one of the most popular superheroes in the world, but has never gotten her own movie. The project will also feature other characters from the world of Gotham.

The movie project will be based on the Batgirl story that was first unveiled in DC Comics in 1967, when Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon, appeared as the character in “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!” by writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino. The first mention of Batgirl came in 1961 as the character Betty Kane, niece of Kathy “Batwoman” Kane, in Batman #139, created by writer Bill Finger and artist Sheldon Moldoff.

The Batgirl project will be the second movie from DC Films to star a female lead after Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman,” which opens June 2. Extensive footage of the film was shown Wednesday at CinemaCon.

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Whedon would be making a big move from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to its DC counterpart, having written and directed “The Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” for Disney-Marvel. He also created the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Firefly,” “Dollhouse,” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe launched with 2013’s “Man of Steel,” followed by last year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad.” Its upcoming films, which have already been dated, include “Wonder Woman”; “Justice League,” debuting Nov. 17; and “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa and hitting theaters in December of 2018.

The studio is also developing a “Suicide Squad” sequel and “Gotham City Sirens,” a spinoff to “Suicide Squad” with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn character; “The Batman,” starring Ben Affleck with Matt Reeves directing; a “Shazam” film and a Black Adam spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson; and projects based on the Flash and Cyborg characters.

Whedon is repped by CAA.

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  1. Ray Felch says:

    i can’t wait to see a batgirl solo film think you joss wherin please make a kick ass batgirl

  2. joss never even agreed to this yet the media is running with it …they’re trying to box him in just like fox did with firefly

  3. Filip says:

    Okay Variety, it’s April 2nd, where is the confirmation this is an April Fools joke?

  4. SGTYork says:

    More accurate headline: Self appointed arbiter of strong female characters finally gets chance to ruin one after failing to ruin Black Widow.

  5. Marc Chaudry says:

    This will have to be a prequel cause it seems like the DCEU is heading in the direction of Oracle for Babs Gordon for the present tense (between Justice League and hopefully Affleck’s solo feature). Olivia Wilde or Sara Canning should play the adult Barbara in that period of time. Also the death of Jason Todd happened after Barbara may or may not have been paralyzed in the movie verse. We’ll have to wait and see what avenue they take for her whether they’re going to introduce her as a vigilante from scratch with Bruce Wayne already 44 years into his career.

    • I doubt it will be a prequel. Barbara may or may not have had a run-in with the Joker earlier in her career as Batgirl that could’ve sidelined her for a few years, as she would have been paralyzed. But as it is, we’ve yet to have any information regarding Batgirl in the DCEU — no Easter Eggs, no little hints dropped, nothing — so I think it’s entirely possible that they could cast her as a new/newish hero. If they decide to introduce her into the fold as a still-young, early-20’s Barbara (which the source material they’re looking at implies), then perhaps she could be a couple years younger than Dick (who, for sake of argument is maybe 30ish). Maybe after Todd died Batman decided that he wasn’t going to continue training her either. I mean, there’re plenty of avenues to explore.

      They’re saying this will be based on her NEW-52 comic “Batgirl of Burnside” which sees her moving to a hip new district of Gotham for young 20s, where she is a Grad-Student and works with other members of the Gotham superhero crowd. I expect that we’ll be seeing both Babs/Batgirl (and probably some of her “Birds of Prey” cohorts) in “Gotham City Sirens.” Until then, and some more information about this project we don’t really know what they’re going to be planning with Batgirl.

  6. tony says:

    i can totally see emma stone as batgirl.
    wonder if she will appear in the harley quinn spin off first?

  7. Gina Brumley says:

    I think Jennifer Garner should be batgirl.

  8. Frederick Louis Richardson says:

    BatWoman (spelled this way) would have been the better choice, casting a sexy female over a serious actress. Less kick-ass and more erotica.

  9. ME says:

    This wasn’t an “exclusive “. I heard this on my local news this morning. ..well before 9:30PT.

  10. shawn wood says:

    Batgirl first appeared as betty kane. who was the niece of bob kane, creator of batman. she appeared in the 1940’s, and then was a member of teen titans west. she later became flamebird. ..barbra gordon was the second batgirl. Bat-family sells well. when superman starts actually selling, then, and only then will you deserve films. Batman is proven to make the most for warner. so of course, his family gets first films. it makes sense if they want to spend the money it takes to make films. its a batman/flash universe. superman trolls have no place in it. not until supes can once again actually sell mass merchandise again. you want supes films, but you wont buy the toys, and other merch. so no, you don’t get superman.

    • Filip says:

      Superman is selling. Superfamily is right now second biggest franchise DC has going after Batfam. Batfam has Batman, All-Star Batman, Detective Comics, Batwoman, Batgirl, Batgirl & the Birds of Prey, Nightwing and Red Hood & the Outlaws. Superfam has: Superman, Action Comics, Superwoman, Supergirl, New Super-Man. And they share Super Sons and Trinity. Superman doesn’t make top 10, but he easily gets in the top 20.

  11. Ima Right says:

    Weedon blows along with all the garbage Hollyweird spews out. This has disaster all
    over it just another overblown special effects bad writing acting directing super girly
    movie. is he going to make her a lesbian? or maybe a transgender? that’s hollyweird.

  12. tomspud says:

    Batgirl????????? Ohhhhhh, F Off Hollywood…….. really!

  13. Barbara P. says:

    Please, please, please Joss, make the Batgirl in your movie a librarian as she originally was. (Not like the Lego Batman movie that didn’t mention it at all.) You won’t find smarter, funnier, cooler people than librarians, so do the right thing! :-)

  14. Tom says:

    Emma Watson is perfect for Batgirl. Plz Someone offer her that role.

  15. Timely Comment says:

    Nice to see Whedon cross the directorial street from MARVEL to DC!

    It’s a throwback to the less didactly territorial ’70s when comicbook writers, artists, and editors crossed and recrossed the Manhattan offices from one company to the other with regularity: Marv Wolfman started in DC… moved and became MARVEL Editor-in-Chief….left and wrote DC’s canon-simplifying CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.

    (It might have been these creators saw better office politicking in the other’s corporate grass.)

    Glad to see Whedon play comicbook ecuminism— now if only Hollywood stars ALSO go beyond the obvious MARVEL/DC actorly divide…

    /comicsfan

  16. Dwayne says:

    Who is interested in DCEU anymore.

    • Batshitcrazy says:

      @dwayne you are. You’re browsing a DCEU article when you could be doing things you are interested in.

  17. Callum says:

    Is there any source for this information? His last big budget hero movie was not good for his sanity.

  18. drush76 says:

    I hope he does a better job with this “Batgirl” movie than he did with “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.

  19. Kamille says:

    I really don’t like Joss nor any of his movies or tv series. But I can understand why WB would want him since he makes content that the masses enjoy.

  20. Awesome!! Perfect director for it as well.

    My daughters are gonna be stoked!

  21. Phillip Ayling says:

    He can’t undermine the Warners DC Universe, because they have no idea what that is…and if working, he may be on his meds and reduce his cray-cray Twitter posts.

  22. John says:

    This is a joke, people…hahaha. Good one ;-)

  23. Paully says:

    I thought JW was exclusive to Disney Only??

  24. Alex says:

    Well he did a great job with the “Avengers”, he can’t pull it off then no one can. If it isn’t too campy it may work…or not.

  25. Ace says:

    Nooooo……:( Dont want that shitty director anyway near DCU

    • warcry1975 says:

      Really? The guy that directed two of the greatest episodes ever to air on TV (“Hush” and “The Body” vs the guy that brought us “Sucker Punch”?

      You think this move would HURT the DCU?

  26. gabe says:

    interesting

  27. Bill B. says:

    Thanks, but I will definitely pass.

  28. cadavra says:

    I don’t know how far back your definition of the DC Universe extends, but you’ve forgotten (albeit with good reason) the Razzie-award winning CATWOMAN with Halle Berry and Sharon Stone.

  29. Jim says:

    WB is all over the map with their attempt at a DC universe….it’s abundantly clear they have no cohesive plan and they are just winging it.

  30. Paola says:

    Birds of Prey pls!

  31. jim says:

    Bat girl the musical Now I get it.

  32. jim says:

    Really? What next bat dog ? I alway thought bat girl was jumping the shark It was a huge We have no ideas left bat signal. Bat teen and the bat twins are still out there. maybe he knows something I don’t going after the female beauty and the beast market?

    • crossie says:

      The best Batman movie of the last decade was ‘The LEGO Batman’, so, you know what, an animated ‘Ace the Bat Hound’ would be alright with me. Then they can do a ‘Streaky the Super Cat’, and make it a trilogy with ‘Ace v Streaky: Pets of Justice’ and this comment started out as a joke, but I’m kind of getting excited now …

  33. Emma Watson for Batgirl! She just oppened Beauty and the Beast big time, and Belle & Batgirl have a lot of similarities, both book nerds, etc. She would be perfect !

    • Vincent says:

      With all disrespect, fuuuck no! She was attached to beauty and the beast she did not sell it. The movie was too big to fail. She dont get credit.
      Besodes, get an actress who is taller that looks like she can fight crime.

      • Marie says:

        Have no idea what Nacho is smoking on. Take one glance at Emma and nothing screams “I can see her playing a superhero.”
        They should cast someone who isn’t well known.

  34. Andrew Laubacher says:

    “Batgirl first appeared in DC Comics in 1967 as Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon in “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!” by writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino.”

    That’s not entirely true. Before there was Barbara Gordon there was Betty Kane, the first Bat-Girl. Betty was the niece of Kathy “Batwoman” Kane and debuted in Batman #139 (April 1961). She was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Sheldon Moldoff.

  35. Jessica Nicole Tomasone says:

    As a working actress and dancer in Toronto, what does an artist like myself need to in order to get a director like Joss Whedon to notice me?

    • UNDUDE says:

      In order for a Director who made two of the top ten highest grossing movies of all time to notice you, you must be atleast insanely talented and have some credits under your belt. I thought that was obvious to anyone.

  36. NDBit says:

    Please have David Boreanaz play an aging-out Batman PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.
    Please.

    I mean ideally we want him as Green Lantern but this would be OK, too. Thanks

  37. Joe says:

    April Fool’s Anyone?

  38. sandra says:

    “Batgirl is one of the most popular superheroes in the world ”

    SAID NOONE EVER !

  39. Mac says:

    Solid choice, even if Whedon has seemingly gone off his meds since Age of Ultron. His ‘voice’ is especially beneficial if they want to take the ‘Millennial Batgirl in a smart vest’ angle like they’ve done in the comic book.

    That being said, it also wouldn’t shock me if he’s left the project by this time next year.

  40. Still no director for the Flash…..

  41. Chris Darling says:

    Wow, some of the A-hole trollish comments on this page take the cake. This is the man who created “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” one of the greatest female characters ever created in the genre. This is the man who wrote and directed “The Avengers.” This is one of the smartest moves Jon Berg and Geoff Johns could possibly have made on the chessboard. Do you really think he’s going to slavishly follow the pattern that has used previously by WB? They must be paying a fortune for Whedon and they aren’t paying for a photocopier; they are paying for striking originality and they’ve made the best bet they could to switch things up. This is very positive news.

    • Vincent says:

      Joss whedon is good at being joss whedon. I hate how he copies and paste his tired humor on all his pronects. Tbe same humore he’s been using since buffy.
      I dont want the dc universe feeling like marvel and i dont want characters in dc in their own universe who will never gell with the main story.

      • bingus says:

        Well what they are doing now certainly isn’t working for them. Time to try something new.

  42. Thomas Hoehne says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m such a moron!

  43. Kenneth C Wilson says:

    Cool, now we need him to do a star wars movie and save us from the travesty spat out by JJ Abrahms or anything else JJ has killed lately (Star Trek 1-2 come to mind).

  44. John says:

    Bad move. I don’t know about this, does “Batgirl” have any appeal to moviegoers? Sorry Joss, I love your Marvel movies, but I see FLOP all over “Batgirl”. I have zero interest in the subject matter let alone the movie.

  45. navtej singh says:

    give him green lantern corps, please

  46. lindsey says:

    interesting. considering the timing, i wonder if WB brought Joss in to fix The Batman and instead he pitched Batgirl. Kind of feels like WB is luring him to the family so he can take on Justice League 2.

  47. Angel torres says:

    What a trader!!! Warner Bros must have offered him a lot of money….

    • Jo Mama says:

      You mean Wonskolaser Bros.?

    • Dunstan says:

      Angel, you might want to work on your spelling; it’s “traitor.”

      And yes, WB offered him lots of money but your ignorance is showing. Joss is an A-list writer and has been for a while. He gets lots of money for his work. Get over it.

      • Potatolover says:

        No, he’s a trader. He traded Marvel for DC.

      • Ziio says:

        Traitor, Joss left Marvel because his ideas and those of the studio were at odds, he couldn’t get the movie he wanted made because it didn’t fit the exact idea of what Marvel Studios wanted. They gave him a lot of freedom with Avengers, but he wasn’t happy with how Age of Ultron turned out. He made mention that he wanted to do a Black Widow movie, but it looks like WB took him seriously. He has wanted to do a female lead superhero movie for a while, because he personally loves the subject matter. Had Marvel not been so misogynistic and seen the potential and desire for a Black Widow movie then I’m sure Joss would have chosen Marvel first, but they have a laid out plan and that didn’t fit for them. WB is throwing things at the wall to see what sticks at this point, whatever they invest can’t be worse than the money they invested into Superman and Batman vs Superman, neither of which made any significant profit.

  48. Dunstan says:

    My above comment “I’m sure your mom is very proud of you” was directed at a comment that’s been deleted, thankfully, by variety.com. Please ignore it.

  49. Dunstan says:

    I’m sure your mom is very proud of you.

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