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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Would the three of you please kick my ass?"
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April 20 2017

Joss Whedon talks to Variety about working on Batgirl. He's not at the casting stage yet but he did tell USA Today that "what I'm looking for in a Batgirl is probably somebody new". The Hollywood Reporter has Joss talking about what drives Batgirl and EW.com has Joss talking about how the movie came to be. All these interviews come from the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 premiere.

Everything that I keep reading about this, makes me more excited for this project. And the best part, is unless something weird happens (isn't the Flash movie way into the 3rd or 4th director, and don't start on the whole who's directing Batfleck solo movie debacle), it's unlikely that WB execs will pull the rug from under him, like what happened with Wonder Woman.

Loved that the interview was conducted at the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 premiere red-carpet.

Also, can we go back to the Morgan Freeman as Wonder Woman jokes, I miss those.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2017-04-20 12:14 ]
I'm sure this will be a great movie.

So Joss will spend the next 2-3 years working on this. Then there will have to be a sequel of course, and then it will have to be a trilogy. Not sure whether he'll work on those, but he sure won't be working on any of his own stuff for the foreseeable future.

Maybe he's just decided that telling his own stories with other people's characters is the way he wants to go. Lot easier to get the green light that way, and a lot easier to get butts in the seats. Still... I hope Joss and I aren't old men before we get to see his next all-original thing. We're both getting our weekly AARP invitations in the mail.
I have to imagine that DC approached Joss, not the other way around. He was clearly working on his WWII horror flick and this sort of came out of nowhere. I wonder if DC just made him an offer he couldn't refuse. A character similar to one he'd always wanted to write for (Batman), creative freedom, a big fat check...My guess is that Joss will do just this one and then get back to his own original stuff.

One thing to remember though, The Avengers had a LOT of restrictions with pre-existing franchises. Batgirl will be his own to mold. So this still could be VERY Joss, even if it isn't an original character...Not that Avengers WASN'T Joss...that's still an amazing film very close to my heart :)
More from the GOTG2 Premiete, here's another blurb from EW:

“It is a little early to tease anything besides the existence of it,” Whedon said at the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. “We weren’t even talking about Batgirl – it came up as part of another conversation and then we all got so excited that the movie suddenly appeared. So that’s a really good sign to me. It wasn’t a slot they were trying to fill. We all just started talking about her and then I couldn’t stop. So, that’s a good feeling.”

I do wonder if this project is actually further along than Joss and Warner Bros are suggesting- because while the initial press release said it only came together in the last month, and Joss is talking here about how it is all early days, Kevin Feige's statement the other day was that Joss had called about it a couple of months ago.

Which would imply that the project has actually been in the works for longer than Joss and Warner Bros are suggesting (unless Feige misspoke.)
And it's best not to read too much into the slight differences in what they're saying, but it'd be nice if it was further along than we're hearing, and we start getting release dates and filming news (because the sooner we get new Joss content the better; as I'm looking forward to both this project and whenever he gets around to playing around in his own sandbox in the future.)
I added a link to a THR article as well as the EW.com one.
Classic Joss, I am Groot ;-)
From the EW article:
It’s unclear how far back discussions began for this DC movie, but Whedon teased in mid-2016 that he was working on “a story about a girl who goes through some unbelievable s—.” As someone who already helmed The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, he said it’s “different from everything I’ve done… except for that it’s exactly the same.”

Based on the timing, as well as other things he said, I'm almost certain these quotes were pertaining to his WWII horror movie, not Batgirl.
I'd like to see a Joss movie in theaters that's not an adaptation, a tie-in to an already existing universe or helmed by another director. Guess that's not going to happen in the next 5 years. But who knows? He sometimes takes a movie or a web-series out of a hat.
I'm excited to see who Joss casts as Batgirl. He has an excellent track record discovering and developing new (or newer) talent.
I wonder does Joss know that Batgirl was actually introduced as a character *without* any damage? Why is he trying to figure out what damage she has absent "childhood trauma"?

[ edited by b!X on 2017-04-21 00:48 ]
b!X, that's exactly what Joss is saying. He said that she doesn't have a childhood trauma, like both Batman and Robin, so he wants to look at what drives her to put on a cowl and fight crime. I think that's as opposed to becoming a police officer or other normal ways to fight the good fight.

"What's her damage?" just means "What's her motivation?"
@Numfar PTB unlike the other directors who were mainly TV or indie directors with a couple small projects under their belt, Joss is a guy who has a record of producing TV and a movie when networks and studios didn't want him to. His experience dealing with the business side of production as a showrunner and director will serve him well in making sure his vision sees the screen, and that we see his vision.

[ edited by Tausif on 2017-04-21 07:39 ]

[ edited by Tausif on 2017-04-21 08:00 ]
@b!X Joss acknowledges that Batgirl doesn't have any damage. He said he was interested in finding out what would draw a character who is not pushed into super heroism by having their parents killed in an alley, that her home life is stable. However, he is interested in why she needs to adapt the cape and cowl because of a lack of something that she feels in herself. (Con't)
@b!X Joss has mentioned previously that he prefered Batman Begins to The Dark Knight because the latter lost the character of Batman to tell an epic story. He liked the small heartfelt intimacy of Bruce's pain in the first film. He said the same thing in making The Avengers that fundamentally his Shakespeare movie filmed in his backyard is the same as The Avengers, in that both were about the moments that people share and the people themselves. Joss has also said that if he would have pitched on making a Batman movie it would have been similar to Nolan's Batman Begins. (Con't)

[ edited by Tausif on 2017-04-21 07:59 ]

[ edited by Tausif on 2017-04-21 08:00 ]
@b!X Each and every TV show or movie that Joss has produced has a moment where the characters chafe against authority, and are critical of the system. Barbara Gordon is a police officer's daughter. If she doesn't have a lack in her life, then her motivation to dawn a cape and cowl is to follow in her father's footsteps, and make Gotham clean and friendly. That is not a character study or a film that says anything about life or society, that is Law and Order, where character motivations don't matter at all. Joss always looks for why we should care and love the characters we watch. Why should we identify with their struggle? What has the world done to Barbara Gordon, a police commissioner's daughter, to make her want to be a vigilante, and work outside the system, and commit illegal acts? Why does she feel the system is broken and how will her contribution work to fix the lack in the system but the lack she feels in herself about her place in the world and how she can contribute to it.
I hope that Joss does not cast another white blonde teenage girl who fight's back against monsters in the alley.

The Lego Batman made a great choice in selecting Rosario Dawson to be Batgirl.

I hope the film is cast as race, and ethnicity blind.
@Tausif: What white blonde girl has he cast to fight monsters in the alley, other than Buffy? And Buffy was supposed to look like a typical white, blonde teenage valley girl, because she was a deconstruction of a specific horror stereotype. (SMG is a natural brunette.)

Other characters on the show certainly could have done with more diverse casting, for sure. But when and why did Buffy become a reason to harp on Joss?
J.K. Simmons will be playing Jim Gordon in upcoming DCU movies, so Barbara Gordon would have to be either white or bi-racial.
I'm still waiting for the “Victorian, female Batman” aka Twist that Joss promised in 2015. Did that happen and I somehow missed it?
It didn't happen, and now it probably never will. Nor will the Giles miniseries that he was supposed to be doing.
I'm optimistic about Batgirl and like the idea of casting someone relatively unknown. And it's nice to know the studio had no preconceived idea of what a Batgirl movie needed to do, so hopefully Joss can do whatever he wants. It would be great if it could be the Deadpool of DC, not for any similarity to Deadpool but because it's unique and does its own thing.

But I'm still sad the next thing we see won't be his original WWII script. After the first Avengers I was sure he'd get to do all sorts of original films because surely he deserved a blank cheque movie after what he did for Marvel. Now I'm not only wondering why he didn't get that, but why he can't seem to get any original film greenlit (discounting The Cabin in the Woods, which was made before his Marvel work). What does he have to do?
Rosario Dawson's voice is Batgirl in the Batman Lego movie...
Great choice too ... Big fan of Miss Dawson... :)

The only problem Joss may have with the Barbara Gordon character in the DC Universe is that if her middle name turns out to be Martha !

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I hate to sound ungrateful, because I enjoy everything Joss does and completely support him in whatever he chooses to do... but I'm not feeling the excitement for this, although I really wish I was. Part of that it because while I'll see Batgirl and I'm sure I'll enjoy it, the DCU movies up till now have all been resoundingly terrible, so it's hard to get enthusiastic about diving back into that universe. But mostly I'm just eager for more original Joss stuff - he was tied up with Marvel for ages and I was hoping we'd see something new from him soon, but (Much Ado About Nothing-esque surprises aside) it looks like he'll be committed to DC for the next few years. We keep getting word of all these cool sounding projects (Twist, the Giles miniseries, the WWII movie - even going back to stuff like Goners and The Serving Girl) that just look like they'll never see the light of day.
Not being another blond girl fight monsters in an alleyway, is not particularly about Joss. It is about Hollywood only seeing white ingenues as female leads. It is time that was another trope that was change as well. Since Joss himself has talked about trying to be pathbreaking in his recent work, in working on his historical,war movie, casting someone other than a white fresh faced young woman as
Batgirl is a step in that direction.

As was point out above Rosario Dawson was the last onscreen Batgirl, I think the live action film should follow that films lead.

Batgirl could be adopted. We have seen a white father with a black child before in a major blockbuster film Jeff Goldblum's daughter in Lost World was black.

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