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Joss Whedon Exits 'Batgirl' Movie

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  • Joss Whedon Exits 'Batgirl' Movie

    FEBRUARY 22, 2018 12:17pm PT by Borys Kit

    The Bat signal is being dimmed … for now.

    Joss Whedon is saying goodbye to DC Entertainment heroine Batgirl.

    Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer among other pop culture touchstones, is exiting the Warner Bros. feature project, which he was writing and was slated to direct.

    "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 told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. Referring to DC president Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. Picture Group president Toby Emmerich, Whedon added, "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?'"

    Whedon came on to Batgirl almost a year ago, in March 2017, with the hopes of bringing to the big screen a companion to the female empowerment icon Wonder Woman, with this one tied to the most popular character in comics, Batman. Batgirl is Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon.

    But sources say that Whedon, after a year of trying, could not crack the code of what a Batgirl movie should be. Wonder Woman, meanwhile, became a cultural phenomenon as well as one of the biggest hits and most acclaimed movies of 2017.

    Industry sources add that even as Whedon faced story issues, in today's cultural entertainment environment, 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, much like a white filmmaker would have seen backlash taking on the Black Panther movie.

    Whedon has been credited as a pioneering voice for female-focused genre fare, having created the hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer two decades ago.

    He does have a strong relationship with Warners, who brought him into the company's DC fold to take over last year's Justice League when director Zack Snyder was sidelined due to a family tragedy.

    Whedon will face no shortage of suitors, as Netflix, Apple and others will likely vie for the next creation from the writer-director behind cult TV series such as Firefly and Dollhouse.


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  • #2
    As soon as Disney's trying to buy 20th Century Fox was announced, I considered Joss Whedon might want to be a part of that company instead of Warner Brothers. THE ARTICLE obviously wouldn't help things. And Justice League may not have been a better experience than Avengers 2 .

    But with Kevin Fiege maybe leaving Marvel within a few years, Joss Whedon would be the best choice to lead the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He can actually make the story make sense, which is something that hasn't been true since The Avengers . Marvel clearly tries to infuse Whedon humor in all the post- Avengers movies anyway.

    In addition, with Joss co-writing a Season 12 miniseries, maybe we'll finally get a Buffyverse animated something.

    But Joss getting to play with the X-Men again? The MCU having more female superheroes and maybe leads?

    Or Joss might want to return to TV, but not CW TV.

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    • #3
      Batgirl doesn't sound very interesting, so I can understand why Joss feels he can't come up with an interesting story to tell. Does anyone read the comics? She's the sidekick at best surely?

      I feel a little sorry for Joss and wonder if he's ok. He can't complete on this job and he wants to put an end to Buffy. Justice League didn't do well, and in Hollywood you're only as good as your last job (or so they say) He's very politically angry on social media and his ex has washed his dirty laundry in public. He can't be having a great time

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      • #4
        Does anyone else think that the real reason Joss is opting out is that he wants out of being tied to DC and their cinematic universe?

        For one thing, aside from WW, DC cinematic universe has been a sinking ship.

        Furthermore, he may feel tired of working on superhero blockbusters in general, as he's never going to have full freedom there and really call the shots.

        And finally, if the movie doesn't turn out great in every way, Joss would get most of the backlash, especially as a male making a movie about a female superhero (and you can also imagine a ton of negative comparisons to WW).
        You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Priceless View Post
          Batgirl doesn't sound very interesting, so I can understand why Joss feels he can't come up with an interesting story to tell. Does anyone read the comics? She's the sidekick at best surely?

          I feel a little sorry for Joss and wonder if he's ok. He can't complete on this job and he wants to put an end to Buffy. Justice League didn't do well, and in Hollywood you're only as good as your last job (or so they say) He's very politically angry on social media and his ex has washed his dirty laundry in public. He can't be having a great time
          Not really, each prominent member of the Bat-Family has been around for decades and have their own standalone adventures/antagonists/character traits. Because comics Barbra's age typically slides from teen with Bruce to eventual late-20s woman; a hero in her own right. She even has her own other identity as Oracle but that's a long story. Barbra, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damien Wayne and even Stephanie Brown have all been sidekicks to Bruce at some point but there is easily enough content for films and some animated versions have done it. Now as to whether any would work in the DC film world or whether Joss would have necessarily wanted to stay/would have been the right person for this, it's all debatable.
          Last edited by DanSlayer; 23-02-18, 08:29 PM.

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          • #6
            Joss is a storyteller. It is, what he does. To have him say, he backs out of a project, because he can`t think of a story to tell, strikes me as odd.
            Even if it is true, wouldn`t he come up with something else ? Busy with raising his children, going through a difficult phase because of his marital issues, having a serious illness.....Hollywood would understand all that and more. But saying, "I can`t tell stories anymore" sounds like admitting defeat.

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            • #7
              Hopefully he'll go back to TV. I think that that medium suits his talents best.

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              • #8
                Guys, I'm pretty sure he was fired. DC just allowed him to try and save face the same way they did Snyder when he was dumped from the Justice League movie. There's been a change in leadership at DC and Whedon was most likely shown the door due to the negative reception to Justice League, the negative reception to his leaked Wonder Woman script, the negative reception to Whedon's personal life, and, frankly, the negative reception to Whedon working on Batgirl in the first place. People didn't want him on the project.

                Whedon was riding an incredible high after The Avengers but his career has taken a massive downturn since Age of Ultron. His work has received nothing but negative press since that movie and given the current climate in Hollywood, I think DC would've been understandably nervous having Whedon helm Batgirl given the revelations about his personal life/on set cheating. They're going to want to try and ride the wave of positivity that they had with Wonder Woman and Whedon's personal baggage was already threatening that. I won't be at all surprised if they announce a female director as that's what most people seemed to want anyway.

                Hopefully Whedon can do good work on BtVS Season 12. His writing has been seriously lacking lately but I'd like to think that he can still tell a good story about BtVS. There's no way he'd ever sign up with Marvel again though given how publicly he burned those bridges with Feige. They've moved on from Whedon and there's really no need to take him back given how poorly Age of Ultron was received (and his work elsewhere) in comparison to the extremely positive receptions they have had from Civil War, Spider-Man Homecoming, Thor Raganrok and Black Panther. They've got a lot of really talented and exciting new directors/writers working for them now and Whedon just does not have that buzz around him anymore. His popularity has taken a significant nosedive and his writing has too.
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                • #9
                  Phoning in "Age of Ultron" so utterly really damaged his career as a mainstream filmmaker, frankly. He may very well have a third act in which he'll make some utterly obscure movie nobody has heard of until the Oscar noms come out and win a trophy someday, but in terms of big genre tentpoles, he's done.
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                  • #10
                    I thought some might find this interesting . . .

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                    • #11
                      I would really like to see Mere Smith back in the game again .. I know reading her blogs and tweets she's been raging against the machine, as it were, ever since The Nine Lives of Chloe King, her last writing and producing gig ....

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ebdim9th View Post
                        I would really like to see Mere Smith back in the game again .. I know reading her blogs and tweets she's been raging against the machine, as it were, ever since The Nine Lives of Chloe King, her last writing and producing gig ....
                        After your post I went to check out her tweets . . . wow she is angry

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