Joss Whedon Exits Writing and Directing Batgirl

By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

I have to make a confession. Every time I write a piece on Warner Bros. DC Extended Universe, it seems to be bad news. I then promise myself that the next time I write something, it will be hopeful.

So with that said, I have bad news.

Almost a year ago, Joss Whedon was announced to head a Batgirl movie. Considering his Buffy the Vampire Slayer origins, most people thought this was a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, the writer/director has officially hung up his cowl. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, he took full blame citing his inability to crack the story. Here’s what he said:

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. I’m grateful to Geoff (Johns) and Toby (Emmerich) and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed’?

There’s no reason not to take Whedon at his word but I do wonder if Justice League had something to do with it. The failure of DC’s first team up film under Zack Snyder’s care turned out to be a bit of a dud at the box-office. Whedon was brought onboard to punch up the film during reshoots and — if the rumors are to be believed — did a major studio mandated overhaul on the movie. It didn’t help all that much.

While I doubt Whedon is being pushed out because of Justice League, the film did seem to mark a new direction for the DCEU. Everything is pointing to a soft reboot with Warner Bros. bringing in new talent while holding onto what works.

The official slate that was announced with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice also seems to be mostly out the window. Instead of announcing the films ahead of time, a la Marvel, Warners is working on far more films than it seems they can produce. It’s pretty obvious that instead of announcing release dates for films without a plan, they are developing as many quality movies as possible — which is a marked difference from the six weeks David Ayer had to write Suicide Squad.

So here’s your silver lining for the DC Extended Universe: Warners has learned their lesson. They’re not pushing things through for the sake of pushing things through and I would bet that the studio won’t be tripping over themselves to get someone new to take over Batgirl from Joss Whedon.

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