Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige says The Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon tipped him off before his announcement about moving over to DC to make Batgirl. It was no doubt a shot heard 'round the cinematic world last month when Whedon rocked the MCU faithful with the news he was going to write, direct and produce Batgirl as a standalone movie for the DCEU.
On one hand, fans weren't surprised at Whedon's choice to develop Batgirl, given that he's fostering strong female characters on both the small and big screens many times before; the real shock came from the fact that he was doing a film for Marvel's chief competitor.
In an interview with THR that covered a wide variety of Marvel topics, Feige says Whedon – who was also an MCU consultant in addition to directing The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron – let him in on his Batgirl plans long before word reached the public. Feige says:
"He called. A couple months ago, which he didn't have to do and was super cool of him and super nice of him. And we couldn't be more supportive. We want to see a Joss Whedon Batgirl film be awesome."
Anyone following Whedon's saga at Marvel knows the filmmaker was exhausted and frustrated by his duties at the studio on a professional and personal level – he co-created Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in addition to making the Avengers films – so he bowed out of directing the Infinity War films. However, if there was any animosity between Whedon and Feige, it's certainly not evident in their actions regarding the filmmaker's move to DC. The fact that Whedon was gracious enough to call Feige instead of blindsiding him with a public announcement shows a lot of class; and Feige in turn is showing professionalism in his public support of Whedon's Batgirl.
Besides, Whedon helped make The Avengers a monolithic franchise with a combined global box office gross of $2.9 billion for both films, so any comments other than graceful ones from the likes of Feige would come off as disingenuous. Perhaps the most important factor to consider in all of this is that Whedon's move to the DCEU with Batgirl keeps alive the healthy competition between Marvel and DC. If either of the studios begin to rest on their laurels, their bottom lines would surely suffer; and worse, fans wouldn't be getting the quality material that they've enjoyed since the MCU kicked off with Iron Man in 2008.