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Thread: Batgirl

  1. #1
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    Batgirl

    ‘Batgirl’ Movie: Joss Whedon to Direct Standalone Film (EXCLUSIVE)
    Dave McNary
    Film Reporter
    @Variety_DMcNary


    COURTESY OF DC COMICS/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

    MARCH 30, 2017 | 09:30AM PT
    Batgirl is flying solo. The superheroine is getting her own standalone movie from filmmaker Joss Whedon.

    Whedon is nearing a deal to write, direct, and produce an untitled Batgirl pic for Warner Bros. as part of its DC Extended Universe.

    No other producers are currently attached. Toby Emmerich, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, is overseeing with Jon Berg and Geoff Johns. The new project originated in the past month.

    Batgirl is one of the most popular superheroes in the world, but has never gotten her own movie. The project will also feature other characters from the world of Gotham.

    Batgirl first appeared in DC Comics in 1967 as Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon in “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!” by writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino.

    The Batgirl project will be the second movie from DC Films to star a female lead after Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman,” which opens June 2. Extensive footage of the film was shown Wednesday at CinemaCon.

    Whedon would be making a big move from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to its DC counterpart, having written and directed “The Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” for Disney-Marvel. He also created the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Firefly,” “Dollhouse,” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

    Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe launched with 2013’s “Man of Steel,” followed by last year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad.” Its upcoming films, which have already been dated, include “Wonder Woman”; “Justice League,” debuting Nov. 17; and “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa and hitting theaters in December of 2018.

    The studio is also developing a “Suicide Squad” sequel and “Gotham City Sirens,” a spinoff to “Suicide Squad” with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn character; “The Batman,” starring Ben Affleck with Matt Reeves directing; a “Shazam” film and a Black Adam spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson; and projects based on the Flash and Cyborg characters.

    Whedon is repped by CAA.
    Good play by DC. I'm looking forward to SS#2 & GCS.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2
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    Joss is out

    FEBRUARY 22, 2018 12:17pm PT by Borys Kit
    Joss Whedon Exits 'Batgirl' Movie (Exclusive)


    Left, Jason LaVeris/Getty Images; Right, courtesy of DC Comics
    Joss Whedon

    The Bat signal is being dimmed … for now.

    Joss Whedon is saying goodbye to DC Entertainment heroine Batgirl.

    Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer among other pop culture touchstones, is exiting the Warner Bros. feature project, which he was writing and was slated to direct.

    "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," Whedon on Thursday told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. Referring to DC president Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. Picture Group president Toby Emmerich, he added, "I'm grateful to Geoff and Toby and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I…uh, is there a sexier word for 'failed'?"

    Whedon came on to the Batgirl project in March 2017 with the hopes of bringing to the big screen a companion to the female empowerment icon Wonder Woman, with this one tied to the most popular character in comics, Batman. Batgirl is Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon.

    But sources say Whedon, after a year of trying, could not crack the code of what a Batgirl movie should be. Wonder Woman, meanwhile, became a cultural phenomenon as well as one of the biggest hits and most acclaimed movies of 2017.

    Industry sources add that even as Whedon faced story issues, in today's cultural environment, a male filmmaker may have faced greater public scrutiny if he were to have tackled a movie with lead characters of such feminist importance as Batgirl or Wonder Woman, much like a white filmmaker would have seen backlash taking on the Black Panther movie.

    Whedon has been credited as a pioneering voice for female-focused genre fare, having created the hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer two decades ago.

    He does have a strong relationship with Warner Bros., which brought him into the company's DC fold to take over last year's Justice League when director Zack Snyder was sidelined due to a family tragedy.

    Whedon will face no shortage of suitors, as Netflix, Apple and others will likely vie for the next creation from the writer-director behind such cult TV series as Firefly and Dollhouse.

    BORYS KIT
    THRnews@thr.com
    borys_kit
    Bummer because I think he would've done a decent job of it, but the cultural point is well taken.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  3. #3
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    And why isn't it Batwoman again?

    It's certainly an intriguing media trend - Wonder Woman directed by a woman. Black Panther directed by someone of African descent.

    Why a Female Director Can Give Us the ‘Batgirl’ We Deserve
    By Owen Gleiberman @OwenGleiberman Chief Film Critic


    CREDIT: ILLUSTRATION: VARIETY; PHOTOS: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

    The announcement that Joss Whedon is stepping down as writer and director of the “Batgirl” film that’s currently in pre-production at Warner Bros. arrives as good news, even if you’re not one of those people (like me) who thinks that Whedon, as a creator of comic-book cinema, has shown more energy than poetry (especially in the egregiously chaotic “Avengers: Age of Ultron”).

    Whedon admitted yesterday that he’d “failed” to come up with a story that could make a “Batgirl” movie work. But given how rarely most people in the film business admit to failure, could it be that his heart just wasn’t in it? Whedon first staked his claim, in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” by shepherding a key pop-culture heroine. But it now seems likely that he felt the pressure, in the post-#MeToo world, of being a male director struggling to contort himself into the mindset of one of the most legendary of female superheroes.

    With Whedon’s exit, the door is now open for a female director to take on the job of forging a “Batgirl” for our time. And let’s be explicit about why that would — and hopefully will — be a fantastic thing, quite apart from the obvious and essential moral issue of equality in hiring in Hollywood.

    Superhero movies are fantasies, but the best of them have found a way to overlap the real world. The question at the heart of any “Batgirl” movie, at least if it’s going to be more than just another overcooked action cog in the DC Universe, needs to be: Who — really — is Batgirl? What drives her, what possesses her, what makes her tick? Like Batman, she’s a night stalker with no superpowers, emerging from an impulse of dark nobility. So for this movie to work, she needs to be not just a bat-eared icon, but a character with layers, a mistress of the night who can speak in a larger-than-life way to the experience of women. Because let’s not forget that that’s what great comic-book characters do. In saving the world, they say something about us.

    Yes, a male filmmaker could direct “Batgirl” and, theoretically, work on that level of drama and understanding. But isn’t this one case where it simply makes sense to say that a woman filmmaker has the potential to bring something bold and new and experiential to the equation? (Writer Roxane Gay has already offered to pen the script.)

    Batgirl didn’t appear on the 1960s “Batman” TV series until its third and final season, starting in 1967 (her appearance coincided with the January 1967 Detective Comics issue “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!”), but like everyone else on that show, she was suffused with personality. Each time she showed up, the actress Yvonne Craig made her presence felt. As Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, she was a demure librarian minding her manners, but when she put on her spangled purple-and-yellow Batgirl suit, with its mask attached to a mane of flaming red hair, she was a woman transformed, with a touch of the dominatrix fury that Diana Rigg brought to “The Avengers.” Batgirl drove a cool motorcycle (also purple) and had an authoritative martial-artsy way of kicking her way to glory during the show’s bam!-pow! fight scenes.

    But in that sense, she was literally a sidekick. The “Batgirl” movie will place her front and center, and that’s an opportunity that will hinge on the imagination of the woman behind the camera. So who should that be?

    Many would rush to nominate Kathryn Bigelow, and as someone who always loves to see the most brilliant and bravura of filmmakers tackle pop genres, I’d be among the legions to say: Of course! Thirty years ago, Bigelow’s first solo directorial outing, the vampire thriller “Near Dark” (1987), was a night-bloom fantasy, at once sensational and subtle; in a better world, she might have made “Batgirl” back then. But if we assume, for the sake of argument, that Bigelow isn’t interested, it’s worth noting a crucial piece of background about who can, and should, helm a superhero fantasy.

    Last year, Patty Jenkins, the director of “Wonder Woman,” became a filmmaker who spearheaded a paradigm shift. But that success could hardly have been predicted by her resume before that movie: a sprinkling of television episodes (“The Killing,” “Arrested Development,” “Entourage”) and exactly one feature film, “Monster” (2003), the grisly docudrama that won Charlize Theron the best-actress Oscar for playing the tormented serial killer Aileen Wuornos. It was a movie that, in tone, spirit, and technique, couldn’t have been further removed from the action-soaked, CGI-spangled Marvel universe. And, indeed, it’s become routine for studios to tap indie filmmakers with no experience in the mega-budget franchise machine — like, say, James Gunn — to suddenly be the directors of epic-scale comic-book movies.

    So the person who directs “Batgirl” doesn’t have to come with a kinetic/fantasy background. If you were looking for someone who did have that background, a sturdy choice might be Michelle MacLaren, the veteran television director who’s known for her work on “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Game of Thrones,” and who very nearly did direct “Wonder Woman.” But, in fact, it might be more exciting if the director of “Batgirl” arrived from a different angle.

    It would be thrilling to see Ava DuVernay take a crack at it. She, of course, now has one big-budget fantasy under her belt — the upcoming “A Wrinkle in Time,” set to hit theaters on March 9 — and what DuVernay brings to the table, based simply on my viewing of her indie work (like the terrific “Middle of Nowhere”) and the masterly “Selma,” is a visual elegance and a singular ability to dramatize the inner power dynamics of any situation. I see DuVernay as a filmmaker of three dimensions who could root a comic-book movie in something real.

    Dee Rees, the director of “Mudbound” and “Pariah,” has the technical chops and the empathy, though I’m not sure she could inject the levity that’s become a requirement in superhero fare. A director who very much could is Lisa Cholodenko, and I’m compelled to say that even as I write her name, there’s a part of me that thinks, “Wait a minute! ‘The Kids Are All Right’ is a great film, but surely that’s a movie worlds removed from ‘Batgirl.’ She would be all wrong for it!” And then I have to remind myself that I’m thinking that way because I’m so locked into the rigid slots to which Hollywood has consigned female filmmakers.

    Which brings me to my first choice: Greta Gerwig. She’s a filmmaker who, at this point, will almost surely have a chance to direct a franchise blockbuster — that is, if she wants to go that way. And considering that she’s only just approaching her first Oscar ceremony as a nominee, with exactly one movie as a writer-director, the glorious “Lady Bird,” under her belt, taking that leap now might seem premature.

    But consider it: If Gerwig were to choose to direct a comic-book movie, what would be more ideally tailored to her playful intelligence than the prankish goth grandeur of “Batgirl”? She could imagine the character from the ground up, as someone funny and fierce, humane and empowered, iconic and mysterious. A woman who calls herself by a different name (Lady Bat?). The point being that hiring a female director to make “Batgirl” isn’t just about equal opportunity. It’s about Hollywood using the equality of opportunity as a new way to think outside the box. It’s time that people started saying things like, “Greta Gerwig making ‘Batgirl’? I’m not sure if I can see that. But actually, now that you mention it, why the f— not?”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
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    Screenwriter Christina Hodson

    APRIL 9, 2018 2:42PM PT
    Joss Whedon Replaced With ‘Bumblebee’ Screenwriter for ‘Batgirl’
    By Ariana Brockington


    CREDIT: COURTESY OF DC COMICS

    Screenwriter Christina Hodson has taken over to write a new script for DC’s “Batgirl” film, following the announcement that Joss Whedon is no longer attached to the project, Variety has learned.

    This will mark Hodson’s return to the DC Extended Universe after writing for The WB series “Birds of Prey.” Hodson previously wrote the screenplay for horror film “Shut In” with Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay and the 2017 thriller “Unforgettable” starring Rosario Dawson. Hodson has also been tapped to write the script for “Bumblebee,” the upcoming “Transformers” spinoff with Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena.

    Whedon exited the comic book movie in February, citing story issues. Whedon said in a statement, “’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.”

    After Whedon’s departure, author Roxane Gay volunteered to write the script and seemed to ignite interest from DC Comics. Gay had tweeted, “Hey [DC Comics] I can write your ‘Batgirl’ movie, no prob.”

    At the time, Michele Wells, a Warner Bros. vice president who works on DC films as well, had replied to Gay with her email address.

    “Batgirl” will portray the life of Barbara Gordon, the daughter of police commissioner James Gordon, who doubles as one of Batman’s sidekicks named Batgirl.

    DC Extended Universe has a series of titles that are predicted to be released before the heroine’s stand-alone film. “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa, is expected to hit theaters on Dec. 21, while “Wonder Woman 2” has a set release date of Nov. 1, 2019.
    I haven't seen anything by Hodson. But still, the critical question is 'who will play Barbara?'
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  5. #5
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    Cathy Yan

    Not sure if this new spin-off is Gotham City Sirens or something else, but I'll post it here for now, as well as on Batgirl.

    APRIL 17, 2018 8:22AM PT
    Cathy Yan to Direct Harley Quinn Spinoff Starring Margot Robbie
    By Justin Kroll @krolljvar
    Film Reporter


    Suicide Squad Harley Quinn
    CREDIT: COURTESY OF WARNER BROS.

    Cathy Yan has been tapped to direct a DC spinoff movie centered on crazed supervillain Harley Quinn. The girl gang movie will be based on the “Birds of Prey” comic, with Margot Robbie attached to star.

    Robbie’s LuckyChap is producing with Sue Kroll and her Kroll & Co Entertainment, along with Bryan Unkeless of Clubhouse Pictures.

    Yan, a former Wall St. Journal reporter who made her feature debut with Sundance entry “Dead Pigs,” will be the second female filmmaker to direct a DC film, following Patty Jenkins with “Wonder Woman.” She will also be the first Asian woman to helm a movie from the DC Comics universe. DC previously tapped Ava DuVernay to direct “New Gods,” which is still in development.

    Christina Hodson, who was recently tapped to pen the “Batgirl” pic, wrote the script. The studio had been weighing several Quinn options, including a “Suicide Squad” sequel with Gavin O’Connor, before picking “Birds of Prey.” Sources add that script is still being worked on, but Yan is likely to take over directing reins once the script is done.

    Production is expected to start at the end of the year after Robbie finishes shooting Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” for which she is currently in negotiations to play Sharon Tate.

    The sequel to the Harley Quinn-starring “Suicide Squad” is also expected to begin production in 2018. Gavin O’Connor is on board to write the sequel and is also in talks to direct the film that co-stars Will Smith and Jared Leto.

    Yan is repped by CAA. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.
    I suppose I should start a thread on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood because if it's about Tate, it should include Bruce Lee.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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