In the wake of today’s news that Joss Whedon is departing Warner Bros.’ planned Batgirl movie, it seems a new writer might already be on the cards: Roxane Gay, who recently co-authored Marvel’s Black Panther: World of Wakanda comic book series. News of a Batgirl movie with Whedon attached to direct emerged in March 2017, but little progress was made and the filmmaker has now parted ways with the project, admitting that he failed to come up with a story for the movie.
The best-known version of Batgirl is Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Batman’s police contact Commissioner James Gordon. She made her superhero debut in the comics in 1967, taking over the mantle from original Bat-Girl Betty Kane. Barbara would later go on to change roles after she was paralyzed from the waist down in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, hanging up her cape and becoming the tech wizard Oracle, but was restored to the role of Batgirl in DC Comics’ New 52 relaunch.
Roxane Gay, who has previously authored the novel An Untamed State and a collection of essays titled Bad Feminist, among other works, responded to the news of Whedon’s departure by tagging DC Comics on Twitter and offering to write the movie. To the surprise (and delight) of many, she got a serious response. Michele Wells, Vice-President of Content Strategy at DC Entertainment, invited Gay to contact her for further discussion.
If you’re serious…contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
— Michele Wells (@michelewells) February 22, 2018
While the Twitter exchange shouldn’t be interpreted as an official offer, it could certainly lead to Gay’s involvement in Warner Bros.’ Batgirl movie. DC Films President Walter Hamada is reportedly seeking a female director for Batgirl, so it makes sense that the company would also be interested in hiring a female screenwriter. Black Panther: World of Wakanda, which Gay co-authored with Yona Harvey, received very positive reviews and will likely garner even more attention in the wake of Marvel’s hugely successful Black Panther movie, though it was unfortunately canceled last summer.
Whedon’s attachment to Batgirl attracted a great deal of criticism, for a number of reasons, and DC Films is currently in a position where seeking out fresh talent could be the best possible move. If nothing else, this is a positive sign that WB’s Batgirl movie is still on the cards, even without Whedon, and that we can perhaps even expect news of another director being courted to replace him soon. In the meantime, DC fans can look forward to seeing Jason Momoa’s Aquaman return to the big screen this year in his own solo movie, as well as a whole slate of other upcoming DC adventures.