Is The World Ready For A Nicolas Winding Refn-Directed Batgirl Movie?


Anyone who’s seen the now-in-theaters Neon DemonOnly God Forgives, or really any other offering from Danish auteur Nicolas Winding Refn can attest to the fact that the guy makes movies his way, without much concern for making anything “mainstream” or even really “marketable.” Even with the somewhat commercial Drive, which starred Ryan Gosling and turned into the most successful movie of Refn’s career, he took a getaway-heist thriller and turned it into something much more bloody, stylish, and strange.

For better and for worse, Refn marches to the beat of his own drum – which makes his recent interview with Business Insider, in which he professes to want to work within the studio system on a superhero movie, if you believe it, all the more interesting.

Though he’s still out promoting Neon Demon and has a host of other projects lined up, including a French miniseries about an elite police squad and an unnamed thriller set in Asia, Refn has voiced interest in jumping into the DC movieverse to direct a movie about Batgirl, aka Barbara Gordon.

Discussing studio pics, he said:

“God, I would love to make one, it would probably be great fun…I just don’t know when it’s going to happen. I very much enjoy my freedom creatively, but I also would love to make one of those big Hollywood films that costs a lot of money and has a lot of people running around with cell phones and all that insanity…What ones are left? You know the one I want to do? I want to make Batgirl. Let’s get Warner working on it.”

Though Refn’s passion for that character might seem to be coming from out of nowhere, the director also previously vocalized his interest in another female hero: Wonder Woman. Of course, Patty Jenkins ended up at the helm of that project, with Gal Gadot in the leading role, and there’s nothing on the record about Refn ever having made it anywhere close to Warner Bros.’ meeting rooms, but understanding that he seems driven to explore a female superhero helps to put into perspective his passion for Batgirl.

Of course, just because Refn’s game, that doesn’t mean execs at Warner Bros., especially ones still recovering from the critical drubbing Batman V Superman received, would necessarily have any interest in handing him the reins on a superhero tentpole. He’s a talented but very idiosyncratic and narratively off-the-beaten-track kind of guy, to put it lightly, so this seems like the longest of long shots right now. Nevertheless, for Refn to be willing to surrender some creative freedoms to take a swing at Batgirl makes you wonder exactly what he’d have in store for the character. Fingers crossed he elaborates somewhere down the line.