Earlier today, we learned the not so shocking news that Joss Whedon had voluntarily stepped down from directing his planned Batgirl movie for DC. Though it hadn’t been officially confirmed as being on the upcoming slate of DCEU films, Whedon had been working on getting a story together for the pic ever since the project was first announced almost a year ago.
Now that the idea has been ditched, though, the comic book storyline that Whedon was going to be drawing inspiration from has been revealed. When Variety reported the news of the director’s departure from Batgirl, they also mentioned that Whedon would have based his script on “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!” (Detective Comics #359), which originally introduced Barbara Gordon back in 1967.
As DC buffs will know, the story was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino and saw Babs help out Batman and Robin for the first time as they fought against Killer Moth. It also set up her secret identity as a humble librarian and the daughter of Commissioner Gordon. Presumably, Whedon would have significantly altered the classic comic for his movie, but it’s clear that he was hoping to go in a traditional direction with the character.
However, considering the reason he gave for walking from the project, forming a fully-fledged script out of this comic might have proven to be a bit of a challenge. The director admitted that he “really didn’t have a story” for Batgirl, which is why he had to hand the character back to DC. Variety also claims that their sources have told them Whedon’s exit is partially due to Warner Bros. wanting to get more female directors on board the DC Extended Universe.
Seeing as we were told before that Batgirl was only happening due to Whedon‘s involvement in the first place, it remains to be seen what fate awaits the project now given that it’s lost its champion. It’d be a shame if it was cancelled outright, but at this stage, it’s looking like it’s becoming less and less of a priority for the studio, which means we wouldn’t expect to hear anything concrete about it for some time. As always, though, stay tuned for more.