News has only just broken that Warner Bros is courting onetime Avengers filmmaker Joss Whedon to write and direct a solo movie featuring Batgirl for its DC Extended Universe franchise. Details are now emerging online, regarding the potential comic book sources that Whedon could be drawing from, should he moved forward with his Batgirl project.
Originally created for the 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West and introduced into the DC comic book mythos shortly thereafter, the Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl is the second, but by far best known character to call herself Batgirl. The daughter of Commissioner Gordon, she was a regular part of the Batman mythos up until 1986 when the infamous Killing Joke storyline found her crippled and confined to a wheelchair by The Joker – a still divisive story turn that author Alan Moore now denounces. Over time, she was reintroduced as a master computer-hacker named Oracle, working as vital support for characters like Batman and The Birds of Prey.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Whedon is gong to be drawing inspiration for his DCEU Batgirl movie from DC’s New 52 comic book continuity. The implication is that the proposed film will draw specifically from the 2011 reboot of the character by writer Gail Simone, which launched as part of DC’s controversial “New 52” initiative – a reintroduction drawn from some of the darker corners of DC Comics history that has since been reconfigured, via the DC Comics Rebirth.
The New 52 comic book reboot used DC’s reshuffled timeline to feature a “cured” Barbara, working to re-establish herself as Batgirl – despite lingering psychological trauma from the Joker’s attack. It’s unclear exactly how much of the New 52 storyline (which remains one of DC’s more divisive reboots) will be incorporated into Whedon’s film, should this report pan out.
No mention has yet been made of a Batgirl having ever existed in the DCEU (the DCEU’s Batman is so secretive that some don’t even believe he exists in the first place), though the film Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice alludes to The Joker having killed one of Batman’s sidekicks, at some point in the past. A version of Barbara Gordon who becomes Batgirl after having suffered a Killing Joke-esque assault would seemingly allow much of the New 52 characterization to be ported-over to the big screen (and would be in line with the overall darker tone of the DCEU). Still, so early in the project’s development, nothing should be taken as set in stone right now.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Wonder Woman release date: Jun 2, 2017
Justice League release date: Nov 17, 2017
Aquaman release date: Dec 21, 2018
Shazam! release date: Apr 5, 2019
Cyborg release date: Apr 3, 2020
Green Lantern Corps. release date: Jul 24, 2020