Earlier today, DC fans were met with a pretty big surprise, when Joss Whedon officially parted ways with the live-action Batgirl movie.
Whedon was initially attached to write and direct Batgirl about a year ago, and the film became a pretty frequent topic of conversation amid Whedon's involvement in the Justice League reshoots. Now, it appears that Whedon has not been able to "crack the code" of what the Batgirl film should be.
“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. “I’m grateful to Geoff [Johns] and Toby [Emmerich] and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed’?"
According to some of The Hollywood Reporter's sources, part of this decision was also influenced by "today’s cultural entertainment environment", in which "a male filmmaker may have faced greater public scrutiny if he were to have tackled a movie with such feminist importance such as Batgirl or Wonder Woman."
With that in mind, we'd like to highlight ten female directors who we would think would be a good fit to bring Batgirl to the big screen.
Okay, we'll admit it, DuVernay makes her way onto our directing shortlists a lot, as we've suggested her as one of the top choice to helm everything from Star Wars: Episode IX to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's inevitable Fantastic Four reboot.
But honestly? That's because she brings such dynamic, diverse, relevant films to life, making even the most serious moments a complete joy to watch onscreen. From Selma to the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time, DuVernay has experience in bringing heartfelt stories into any genre, and her Batgirl would be something fans would be eager to see.
If anything, the main argument against DuVernay taking on the Batgirl film is the fact that she's already under the Disney umbrella with A Wrinkle in Time, making her more likely to helm something in the Marvel space. But hey, DuVernay has expressed a love for DC's heroines in the past, meaning that it certainly could happen.
Alexander has become a pretty frequent name on the lips of comic book fans, ever since she helmed the cult-classic Punisher: War Zone.
Since then, Alexander has returned to the superhero world largely in the TV space, directing standout episodes of both Supergirl and Arrow. Seeing Alexander return to the big screen to direct a Batgirl movie would certainly make avid comic fans happy, and would introduce more general audiences to her unique approach to action sequences and female-run stories.
Interestingly, Lexi voiced an interest in taking on the Batgirl film just last week, provided that prolific Batgirl writer Gail Simone would write the script for her.
Gerwig's name has been on plenty of people's lips recently, following the smash critical success of her Oscar-nominated film Lady Bird.
While we also suggested that Gerwig could take on Fantastic Four, it's almost easier to picture her directing a live-action Batgirl. Gerwig would be able to inject humor and heart into Barbara Gordon's story, while intricately crafting out the various relationships that would take place in the movie.
Plus, even if Gerwig doesn't end up winning the Best Director award for Lady Bird, a whole new audience will be eager to see what she does next. Having DC Films enlist her for Batgirl would certainly drum up hype.
Like Gerwig, Dee Rees has been a part of this year's award season buzz quite a bit, thanks to her history-making work on Netflix's Mudbound. The film earned three nominations, including Best Adapted Screenplay, making Rees the first queer black woman to be nominated for the award.
It's safe to say that fans have been resonating with Rees' work, from Mudbound to Bessie to a recent episode of Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams. Her take on Batgirl would be something wholly unique and empowering, and her viewpoint as a queer woman of color would be perfect for handling one of Batgirl's most beloved supporting characters, Alysia Yeoh.
Morano has also entered the cultural conversation in recent months, thanks to her Emmy-winning turn directing episodes of The Handmaid's Tale (and her experience as the director of photography on Beyonce's Lemonade).
The topic of Morano taking on some sort of franchise film has been of interest in recent months, with her reportedly meeting with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. While Morano later shot down rumors that that meant she was directing a Star Wars film, fans have still wondered what franchise she will end up being a part of.
Morano's Batgirl would provide a visually dynamic look at Gotham City, all while bringing a multifaceted approach to Barbara Gordon's story. Whether the movie has echoes of some of Barbara's dark past, is a more light-hearted outing, or a combination of the two, Morano's take on that would be interesting to see.
General audiences might not be as familiar with Arnold, who is best known for directing British indie films like Red Road, Fish Tank, and the Oscar-winning short film Wasp. She since has earned some sort of a following stateside, thanks to her film American Honey and multiple episodes of I Love Dick and Transparent.
In the coming months, Arnold's name is only expected to get bigger, as she will helm the entire second season of HBO's Big Little Lies. Assuming the season earns just as much awards buzz as the first outing has, Arnold taking on Batgirl after that would also be a smart choice for DC Films.
One of the biggest through lines of Arnold's filmography is strong, complicated female characters, a touch that feels almost essential to helm a Batgirl movie.
Even if you don't know Heckerling's name, odds are that you know her filmography, with her directing iconic comedies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless.
If DC is going to take Batgirl in a more light-hearted direction - something that has been an almost-constant topic of debate since the release of Batman vs. Superman - then Heckerling would be a pretty strong choice to take that on.
In particular, the unique brand of feminist fun that she brings to Clueless feels like a perfect tone to bring to the "Burnside" incarnation of Batgirl.
Like Heckerling, Talalay first got her directing start in the 1990s, helming cult-classics like Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare and Tank Girl.
In the years since, she has mainly operated in the TV space, directing everything from Ally McBeal and Flash Gordon to Doctor Who and Sherlock. For DC fans, Talalay is somewhat of a familiar name, as she has helmed episodes of Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and The Flash.
Talalay certainly has enough experience in the DC Comics world to make her a good fit for Batgirl, and her prolific filmography means that she could bring a number of creative styles to the film itself.
Heller has become a bit of an indie favorite director in recent years, thanks to her 2015 breakout hit The Diary of a Teenage Girl.
Her approach to female-centric storytelling - as well as complicated family relationships - would lend itself well to a Batgirl film, especially with the whole Gordon family drama of the early New 52 Batgirl.
If anything, the only thing that would stand in the way of her helming Batgirl is that her list of upcoming directing projects is pretty packed, with four films (including a potential Cloverfield sequel) currently on her slate. But it certainly isn't out of the question that she could direct Batgirl, if the circumstances are right.
While Mullen might not be a household name just yet, she has accumulated a pretty dynamic filmography over the past ten years, including Dead Before Dawn 3D and Below Her Mouth.
In recent years, she also has gotten into the genre TV world, helming episodes of Wynonna Earp, Killjoys, and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow episode "Necromancing the Stone."
A lot of Mullen's past works focus on dynamic female characters, including the criminally underrated female revenge movie 88. A Batgirl movie would be a pretty awesome choice for her to bring her talents into the mainstream, and provide a kick-ass version of Barbara Gordon in the process.1comments
Which director do you want to see take on DC's Batgirl film? Let us know in the comments below!