Politics are what (partially) killed his take on the project, apparently.
Joss Whedon, the geek guru behind such projects like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the first two Avengers movies, has bowed out of DC’s live action take on Batgirl. The project was announced last year but after a while, Whedon felt like he couldn’t quite crack the code. In his words, through a statement from The Hollywood Reporter:
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 and Toby and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed’?
Bu that’s not all. According to what the THR is saying, the struggle for him to do the project was more complicated:
But sources say that Whedon, after a year of trying, could not crack the code of what a Batgirl movie should be. Wonder Woman, in the 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 if they were to take on the Black Panther movie.
Given Whedon’s past allegations of being a cheating bastard with his partners, this could have set off a social shitstorm (not to mention his take on Wonder Woman back in the day was apparently pretty bad). Still, I can’t help but feel a little concerned in some ways: Should it matter more who’s directing it based on their skills rather than their gender or skin color?
I remember how last year when Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit came out and while that film received fantastic reviews across the board, there was an undercurrent of criticism that the film got hit with that basically amounted to “It’s directed by a white person, so therefore this is problematic”. That irks me, if I maybe honest. I wouldn’t have issue if a Black or Asian filmmaker made a period piece about White people in the 1600’s, so why should take issue with something like that? I typically refrain from using the term “political correctness” because that’s just being used a shield for people to justify hateful comments but situations like that I can’t help but feel are necessary of that term.
But enough of my ramblings. What’s your take on this news? Do you have someone else you’d prefer to take a spin at this material? I know Nicholas Winding Refn has said in the past he’s itching to make one of these and with this character specifically, so I say grant the mad bastard his wish!