×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Joss Whedon Exits as ‘Batgirl’ Movie Director

Joss Whedon has left as writer and director of the “Batgirl” movie for Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, citing story issues as the reason for his departure.

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 said in a statement.

Whedon thanked 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’?”

Variety first reported last March that Whedon had come on to “Batgirl” following a meeting between Whedon, studio exec Jon Berg, and Johns.

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 — particularly on projects centered on female characters.

Batgirl has been a popular superhero for more than 50 years, but has never gotten her own movie. The movie was to 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.

With Whedon’s departure, it’s uncertain whether Warner Bros. will continue development of a “Batgirl” movie. The Batgirl project would be the second movie from DC Films to star a female lead after Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman,” one of the biggest box office hits of 2017. The studio is moving ahead with a “Wonder Woman” sequel with Gadot and director Patty Jenkins returning and has set a Nov. 1, 2019, release date.

Warner Bros.  has been developing a “Gotham City Sirens” project with Margot Robbie starring as her Harley Quinn character from “Suicide Squad” and David Ayer directing.

Whedon had seen considerable success in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having written and directed 2012’s “The Avengers” and 2015’s “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.”

Whedon stepped in last spring to handle the reshoots and finish “Justice League” for Warner Bros. last spring after director Zack Snyder publicly excused himself from the project, following his daughter’s suicide in March. Warner Bros. spent about $25 million on the re-shoots in London and Los Angeles over two months.

Whedon received a screenplay writing credit on “Justice League” along with Chris Terrio. He’s repped by CAA.

“Justice League” was the fifth installment in the studio’s DC Extended Universe, which launched with 2013’s “Man of Steel,” followed by 2016’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad” and “Wonder Woman.” “Justice League” was the lowest grosser of the five titles with $657 million worldwide.

“Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa, is the next title in the DC Extended Universe with a Dec. 21 release date. “Wonder Woman 2” is the only other film in the DCEU that has been set for release.

 

More Film

  • Thierry Fremaux Cannes

    Thierry Fremaux Says 'Cannes Will Always Side With Artists' at Alain Delon's Tribute

    Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director of the Cannes Film Festival, delivered a heartfelt homage to Alain Delon at a ceremony on Sunday during which the French actor received the honorary Palme d’Or. Alluding to the controversy that Delon has triggered with his past declarations, Fremaux said the actor was entitled to have his own convictions [...]

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt's '7500' Sells to Amazon

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Thriller '7500' Sells to Amazon Studios

    Amazon Studios has acquired global rights to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s terrorist drama “7500.” The deal, announced Monday at the Cannes Film Festival, excludes Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Universum will distribute the film in Germany. In “7500,” Gordon-Levitt plays the co-pilot of a plane that has been hijacked by terrorists. The title references the code 7500, which [...]

  • Cannes: China's Rediance Boards Sales on

    Cannes: China's Rediance Picks Up Sales on 'Ways to Run' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chinese indie sales and production finance outfit Rediance has boarded sales on “Ways to Run,” a project in the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation La Residence section. The film picked up a special mention at the prize presentation. The road movie drama is being directed by Afghan-Dutch director Aboozar Amin, who previously made the documentary “Kabul: [...]

  • John Williams Pens Theme for Disneyland's

    John Williams in Disneyland: The Story Behind His 'Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge' Theme

    For only the second time in more than four decades of “Star Wars” music, legendary composer John Williams has written a new theme for a “Star Wars” project that is distinct from his film scores for those galaxies far, far away. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the much-anticipated attraction that will open at Disneyland on May [...]

  • Young Ahmed

    Cannes Film Review: 'Young Ahmed'

    There’s a darkness to “Young Ahmed” that audiences have never seen before in the work of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the gifted Belgian brothers whose profoundly humane, unapologetically realist dramas have twice earned them the Palme d’Or in Cannes. Like surrogate parents to troubled children, the sibling directors have taken on their share of difficult [...]

  • Radegund

    Cannes: Fox Searchlight Nabs Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life'

    Fox Searchlight has picked up rights for U.S. and several international territories on Terrence Malick’s contemplative World War II drama “A Hidden Life,” following its enthusiastic reception at the Cannes Film Festival. “A Hidden Life” tells the true story of the Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter, who rejected Adolf Hitler and objected to the war. He [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content