Joss Whedon no longer directing Batgirl

DC Comics

DC Comics

Whedon caused some major whiplash among comic fandoms when he signed on for "Batgirl" back in March of past year, switching teams from Marvel (for which he directed "The Avengers" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron") to DC (for which he helped finish "Justice League"). Whedon told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement that "it took me months to realize I really didn't have a story". Picture Group president Toby Emmerich.

As for what's next for Whedon, he's returning to his signature creation Buffy the Vampire Slayer for a new Dark Horse Comics series, and after that?

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It was only weeks ago that reports were touting Batgirl and Flashpoint as the tip of the spear for DC's next wave of films. Here's hoping Warner Bros. and DC continue to pursue a "Batgirl" feature anyway (and maybe hire a female filmmaker this time around). James Viscardi of Comicbook and Umberto Gonzalez of The Wrap have voiced their opinions on Whedon's exit from Batgirl on Twitter.

Variety phrased it even more strongly, saying that "that the decision for Whedon to depart was a mutual one and reflects the studio's desire to seek more female directors - particularly on projects centered on female characters". Moreover, in the wake of Wonder Woman, other industry sources note that Whedon and WB may have faced scrutiny if Batgirl was brought to the screen by a male filmmaker rather than giving that opportunity to a woman. After all, the films Whedon is credited with directing (leaving out "Justice League") have grossed almost three billion dollars worldwide, and there's all that pre-established nerd cred... This last has in particular worked on 300: Rise of an Empire, Godzilla and A Star Is Born, a movie with Bradley Cooper which will be released this year, as a producer.

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