Despite reports to the contrary, reputable sources say Joss Whedon is still attached to both write and direct a Batgirl film for Warner Bros.' embattled DC Films Universe.
The famed creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer became part of comic book film royalty when he directed the first two, wildly successful Avengers films for Marvel Studios. Whedon amicably parted ways with Marvel after Age of Ultron and, after a brief hiatus, surprised many when it was announced he was jumping ship to DC to helm a solo Batgirl film. Even more surprisingly, Whedon stepped in to direct reshoots and oversee post-production on Justice League when Zack Snyder departed the film following a family tragedy. In the wake of Justice League's mixed reviews and middling box office, some have laid the blame for the film's underperformance at Whedon's feet, suggesting his style was incompatible with Snyder's, leading to a movie with no real visual or thematic coherence. SuperBroMovies claimed to have a source suggesting the perceived Justice League failings - as well as the director's very public issues with his ex-wife - led Warner Bros. to remove Whedon from Batgirl.
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However, they've since taken down their report and now a different outlet is denying there's been any change with the film. According to EW, multiple sources confirm Whedon is currently writing the Batgirl script and is still slated to direct the film. They note that things can always change, but that there is currently no discussion of removing him.
The initial report of Whedon's dismissal had several obvious problems. The suggestion that the issues in Whedon's personal life would lead to his removal didn't make much sense, as that report surfaced months ago, and chronicled the messy dissolution of a marriage rather than the sort of sexual assault allegations currently bringing down Hollywood heavyweights.
Perhaps the more confounding notion is that Whedon would be responsible for Justice League's shortcomings. The Film was reportedly in trouble well before Snyder departed the production, with an early cut of Justice League described as "unwatchable." Snyder himself tacitly acknowledged these problems when he brought in Whedon to work on new scenes after principal photography had concluded. It would also be hard to fault Whedon for stepping in to finish a film of this scale so late in the process under these specific circumstances.
Whedon is one of Hollywood's power players, and one of its most reliably bankable directors. While it seems as if the DC Films Universe has seen the last of Snyder, its relationship with Whedon is likely just beginning.
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