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Joss Whedon to Direct Solo ‘Batgirl’ Movie for Warner Bros.

DC Comics
DC Comics

Hey Wonder Woman, you’ve got company — good company. Joss Whedon is coming to save the DC movie universe from Zack Snyder’s severe aesthetic, which is like a high school boy’s trapper keeper covered in nu metal band stickers circa 2000. The former Marvel favorite and Avengers director is returning to the superhero genre to write, direct and produce a standalone Batgirl movie for Warner Bros., a much-needed blast of optimism for their dreary DC franchise.

Variety reports that Whedon is “nearing a deal” to write, direct and produce a solo Batgirl film for Warner Bros., part of the studio’s extended DC superhero universe. The character was first introduced in DC Comics in 1967 as Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon, Batman’s longtime pal at the Gotham Police Department. Barbara went on to become a superhero, taking up the Batgirl mantle and fighting crime both alongside the Dark Knight and in her own adventures.

It’s unclear if Batgirl will make her big screen debut before appearing in Whedon’s standalone film, or where Whedon’s film would fit on WB’s increasingly crowded (and somewhat confused) DC film schedule. But Whedon’s involvement inspires optimism for a franchise that has struggled to find its footing since Man of Steel hit theaters in 2013. Although financially successful, WB’s slate of DC films have elicited largely negative reactions among general audiences and critics alike.

Batgirl is also a welcome addition to the male-dominated superhero lineup, which boasts Wonder Woman as its only female lead. Gal Gadot’s solo film hits theaters this summer (beating Marvel to the solo female superhero movie punch, no less), and WB recently tapped Suicide Squad director David Ayer to helm Gotham City Sirens, a female-centric DC villain ensemble led by Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.

Whedon previously said he felt exhausted and frustrated from directing Avengers and its sequel for Marvel, so perhaps WB is offering him the creative freedom he wants for Batgirl. Good. Give him anything he wants. Whatever happens, this is probably the best thing to come of the DC movie universe since they finally let Ben Affleck take a nap a few weeks ago.

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