There is a tendency of casting stars in major comic book movie roles, but Joss Whedon doesn’t expect to follow that pattern with Batgirl. It has only been a few weeks since Warner Bros. and the DCEU tapped Whedon to take on directing duties. Even though the project is in the very early stages, the former Avengers director is already being asked about his vision for the character – and who could play her.
Fan casting has brought up a number of high profile names to take on mantle of Batgirl, with Emma Stone being one of the most mentioned names. Fresh off an Oscar, there’s reason to think WB could try to bring someone like Stone onboard, but getting a “star” does not appear to be the direction Whedon wants to go.
Whedon was present for the red carpet debut of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Variety used his appearance as an opportunity to ask him about what type of actress he wants to see in the role. With it being so early on in the process, Whedon hasn’t begun thinking about a potential casting decision and is focused on finding her voice on the page first.
I don’t have my eye on anybody. I feel like I’m creating this character, I’m gonna dialogue with her and then we’ll see who joins that later on… I doubt it will be a name. This is somewhere where you go and find Batgirl and then you cast her.
When he was further pressed about the idea of not casting a known name, Whedon believes the Batgirl name will carry more importance than the person behind the mask.
I’m not against movie stars, they’re great, but you need somebody who’s going to be just right. And a situation like this, the name carries a lot of weight so its not as critical.
Even though many – possibly WB included – would like a big name star in the role, the rationale behind Joss’ current thinking makes sense. With the astronomical rise in superhero movies’ popularity, finding the perfect star regardless of their name recognition is what should be most important. Plus, the term “movie star” is one that has a different definition to any single person. Emma Stone may be considered a movie star, but the likes of Anna Kendrick, Jane Levy, and others may not – especially someone like Lindsey Morgan.
The important thing here, as Whedon says, is figuring out his version of the character and casting from there. It has been previously said that he is drawing from the New 52 version of Barbara Gordon, which will bring a lot of history with her. Figuring out how he will tell this story and what he will require from his lead should come first, and thankfully it sounds like Whedon is going about the Batgirl movie in exactly that way.