In a major coup for the nascent, shaky DC Extended Universe, The Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon has come on board to write, produce and direct Batgirl. This caliber of talent jumping from Disney's Marvel Studios to Warner Brothers' DC is unprecedented.
"The new project originated in the past month," Variety reports. Whedon is currently the only talent attached. He joins DC directors Zack Snyder, David Ayer, Patty Jenkins and James Wan.
From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Firefly and Dollhouse, Whedon's work is threaded with feminism and complex female leads. He is also a frequent voice against Hollywood sexism. Batgirl has never had a solo film and has thus far only appeared in a live-action feature in 1997's George Clooney–starring mess Batman & Robin. She'll be DC's second female superhero lead following this June's Wonder Woman. Suicide Squad director David Ayer is also helming the female supervillain flick Gotham City Sirens, with Harley Quinn at its center.
On the other side of the field, 14 films deep since 2008's Iron Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has yet to release a female-fronted film. Five more MCU flicks will premiere before actress Evangeline Lilly co-headlines Ant-Man and the Wasp in summer 2018; Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, won't arrive until 2019.
Whedon was a maverick choice for the MCU's first super-posse feature, having played writer/director on just one film years prior. The 2012 movie now stands as the worldwide No. 5 highest-grossing film ever with $1.52 billion; his sequel, 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, is No. 7 with $1.4 billion. He also created Marvel's first modern-era TV series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with brother Jed and sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoen in 2013. He handed the Avengers reigns over to the Russo Brothers (the last two Captain America films) for the next two films.
Celebrate Buffy the Vampire Slayer's 20th anniversary with Fuse's nostalgia podcast Besterday: