Thursday, March 30, 2017

Joss Whedon to Write & Direct BATGIRL Solo Movie

Gotham City is about to have another hero on the big screen.

Variety has revealed that filmmaker Joss Whedon is nearing a deal with Warner Bros. to write, direct and produce Batgirl, based on the popular DC Comics superhero.

According to the article, the project, which was formed last month, will also feature other characters from the Batman mythos.  Toby Emmerich, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, will oversee the movie with Jon Berg and Geoff Johns.

The movie will be the second DC Extended Universe to feature a female DC superhero in the lead role, after this summer's Wonder Woman.  In addition, the studio is also developing a Suicide Squad sequel and Gotham City Sirens, a spinoff to Suicide Squad with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn character.  Other upcoming projects include The Batman, starring Ben Affleck with Matt Reeves directing, a Shazam film and a Black Adam spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson, and projects based on The Flash and Cyborg.

Whedon, 52, is best known as the creator of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.   His previous films include The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Serenity, and he directed the popular internet miniseries Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.  Whedon's writing credits include Toy Story, The Cabin in the Woods, X-Men, Twister, Speed, The Getaway, Titan A.E. and Waterworld.

Created in 1967 by William Dozier, Julius Schwartz and Carmine Infantino, Batgirl first appeared in Detective Comics (vol.1) #359, and later that same year on the Batman television series episode "Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin", as the daughter of Gotham City's Police Commissioner James Gordon.  In her debut story in the comics, while driving to a costume ball dressed as a female version of Batman, Barbara Gordon intervened in a kidnapping attempt on Bruce Wayne by the super villain Killer Moth, which gained Batman's attention and led to a crime-fighting career.  Although Batman insisted she give up crime-fighting because of her gender, Batgirl disregarded his objections.

In the controversial 1988 graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke, writer Alan Moore had Batman's arch-enemy The Joker shoot and paralyze Barbara in an attempt to drive her father insane, thereby proving to Batman that anyone can be morally compromised.  One year later, writers John Ostrander and Kim Yale gave Barbara Gordon new life in Suicide Squad (vol.1) #23 as Oracle, a mysterious computer expert who assisted and supplied information to various DC Comics heroes in their fight against crime.  The character's popularity led to the creation of the series Birds of Prey in 1996, where writer Chuck Dixon partnered Oracle with Black Canary and a rotating cast of female DC superheroes.

In 2011, DC Comics rebooted their continuity in The New 52, effectively making the character younger in a modern timeline where she became active again as Batgirl.  In the new continuity, the events of The Killing Joke took place three years before current events, but it was established she was paraplegic during that time.  Barbara Gordon regained her mobility after undergoing experimental surgery at a South African clinic.  In recent months, Barbara has a new life as a PhD student in the hip Gotham borough of Burnside, in between adventures as Batgirl and with the Birds of Prey.

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