Hopes were high when it was announced almost a year ago that fan-favorite creator Joss Whedon would be writing, directing an producing a live-action Batgirl-inspired movie starring an unknown actress. The creator of female-empowered series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse and director of Marvel’s The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron seemed an inspired choice to bring an all-new female-led superhero movie to the big screen following Wonder Woman‘s success.
However, even as a recent report stated that Batgirl is part of the “next wave” of DC movies from Warner Bros., the man who was supposedly shepherding the project has quietly bowed out because he “couldn’t crack the code” of what the movie should be. In a statement to THR, Whedon 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 [DC president] Geoff [Johns] and [Warner Bros. Picture Group President] Toby [Emmerich] and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed’?
Whedon had apparently been working on a script for the movie for a year before deciding to step aside. However, some have speculated that his exit has more to do with the failure of Justice League and with the studio’s desire to see a female director at the helm of a Batgirl movie than due to any writer’s block Whedon might have been experiencing.