Should A Woman Direct The Newly Announced Batgirl Film?

Joss Whedon, director of Firefly and The Avengers, is a topic of interest for the recently announced untitled Batgirl film. After studying his interpretation of Black Widow from The Avengers, and his poorly received script for Wonder Woman, I would greatly appreciate it if we had another female director in the DC/Warner Bros. film industry. We have Patty Jenkins, who is the director of the first solo Wonder Woman film that is backed up by a major franchise, coming out June 2nd, 2017. To add a female Master crafts-woman to direct the Batgirl movie would be another impressive feat for DC.

It is common knowledge that women are scarce in several media spaces. In fact, only 7% of women have directed films throughout all of Hollywood. What is even more unfortunate is that 99% of women experience sexism while working in the film and TV industry.

However, comics are trying to break the glass ceiling.

And what would make a larger impact than fighting systematic oppression? There have been comics where Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman spread messages about social issues such as equality.

Research says 46% of comic-book fans are women, and 52% of movie-goers are as well.

Economically, it makes sense to have a female-centric film, but it’s not about the money. It shows girls and women that we can be heroes and we can be powerful. Representation matters.

Barbara Gordon, A.K.A Batgirl, is the epitome of a female hero. She is the daughter of GCPD’s Commissioner James Gordon and Batman’s trusted ally. Highly trained in the art of war, gifted physically and intellectually, she fights alongside Batman for justice and provides a voice to those who cannot.

To provide a hero with more substance, it often helps to add a bit of drama or tragedy. An interesting story arc to play with would be The Killing Joke. I mean, I would love to see Jared Leto’s Joker have a face-off with Batgirl! I feel she deserves that. A hero’s tragedy is not what defines them, but how they overcome it.

One of my favorite DC universes is the Batman: Arkham series. Barbara Gordon played a huge role in the game, Arkham Knight. In the game’s DLC, Batgirl: A Matter of Family, which is a prequel before the events of the Arkham series, Barbara teams up with Tim Drake (Robin) in order to save her father and several kidnapped police officers. This not only allowed Babs’ to shine but show just how she earned the name Batgirl. I loved the take, features, and costume of Batgirl. This version of her is significant because Batman, introduced in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, had a striking resemblance to the Batman: Arkham series. One moment that stands out is Ben Affleck’s warehouse fighting sequence. The game also shares the dark, grimy feel for Gotham that the DCEU displays. Batgirl’s characterization from the game would suit the DC Extended Universe like a hand to a glove with Affleck’s Batman.

As for who should direct? A few possibilities come to mind that would suit the DC Extended Universe. I’ll start off with the first woman to win an Oscar for “Best Director,” Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker. She created compelling action and fighting scenes. Through the use of shaky cam, instilling urgency and paranoia, her tone of film-making would suit a Batgirl adventure.

Another classic mastercrafts-woman would be Mimi Leder, director of Deep Impact. She has made an impression in the film industry with her skills in special effects. She brought us powerful science fiction scenes and created a cult classic. She’d be a treasure to have on the list.

Lastly, the legendary Lana Wachowski, director of Cloud Atlas, and her sister, Lilly Wachowski, who teamed up to create The Matrix trilogy. The graphics in Cloud Atlas were breathtaking and unforgettable, as is Batgirl. These films carry brilliant writing and directing. The Wachowski sisters are also gifted in creating fight scenes, perfect for youths trained by Bruce Wayne. An example is below, a scene from the Arkham video games juxtaposed next to a scene from Matrix Reloaded. The directors would bring a perfect balance of light and darkness to a Batgirl film.

 

And what could be better than having these women behind a superhero movie? Welcoming a new member to be added to the list of Hollywood action/science fiction directors! Possibly even a woman of colour (am I asking for too much?).

DC has been giving women much better roles lately. Thanks to its admirable show of gender equality, they are providing us with resilient, tough heroines to inspire girls and women. For example, they gave Batwoman her own series. Katherine Kane and Renee Montoya are a major lesbian power couple in the comics, and by including them, they bring representation for LGTBQ+ comic fans. I hope DC and other comic industries keep pushing for equality. The success of that would be one of the heights of humanity.


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Sharna Jahangir

Lover of all things Batman. Majored in English and Biochemistry at University of Toronto. Graphic Designer, avid blogger and hobbies in drawing comics. Sharna's not the best at maintaining a secret identity, but more than strong enough to protect her loved ones.
  • Randorando

    From what we have seen from the WW promos so far, Patty did an amazing job. I really hope DC does hire a female director for the Batgirl film.

  • BruceW14

    That’s a pretty good article and i agree with you, we need more female directors.

  • Arsh Dhaliwal

    Finally! Been waiting on an article that gave reverence to an issue many of us have been discussing. We need more writing like this! Props!

  • Jana, the Nightwing fan

    I can’t say anything just yet, will need to see Wonder Woman first, which I’m TOTALLY gonna see in the movies, because DUH Wonder Woman, but it would be interesting to see more female directors. Can’t say for good or bad – in certain ways I REALLY liked Black Widow, because she might be a bit different from what a lot of people understand her to be, but considering there wasn’t enough space for her to be viewed as character for non-comic book fans they did their best. She is interesting, she’s strong, she’s using everything she can as a weapon – which is pretty much the soul of Natasha.

    I think male directors are pulling their weight as well, and I’m very thankful to them for LOT of movies and truly, without some of them I wouldn’t get to comic books (even if it was because of the veeeeeeeeeery old Batman movies, because seriously, I’ll always cherish them and it was those that made me love Dick Grayson and I can’t stop now), but this article raises a lot of interesting points.

    I’m actually looking forward to the Wonder Woman more now, from the “researcher’s” point of view also now.

    Good work with the article! Interested to read more things like this!

  • Superman’s Pal

    Yes! Get those badass women directing films about badass women for all the badass comic fans! I mean I wouldn’t mind a man directing a female fronted superhero movie in the same way I wouldn’t mind a woman directing a male fronted superhero movie but after reading Joss’s script for Wonder Woman I really don’t want him anywhere near Barbara! This article is mad as hell! Preach!

  • Daniel

    My first thought after reading the title was: it’s not about the gender, it’s about the talent.
    But after reading this article, I agree. A woman SHOULD direct it.
    How would we know talent, if no woman is given the proper opportunity to exhibit it.
    We need more kickass women behind the screens too!

  • Chan

    Pretty bummed when it was announced that Joss Weaton was going to direct Batgirl especially with his poor portrayal of Black Widow and his equally poor ways of dealing with the criticism he was dealt with. If we’re lucky, he may have learned a thing or two from the criticism but then again, I’m not holding my breath. Wonder if I would feel this way if it were a woman directing? Hm….

  • Bryan Fritchie

    Hire the best person possible, male or female, and make the best possible movie. Period.

  • sami

    Wicked article! It’s interesting how Hollywood is struggling to fill the void of good female superhero films in 2017 still…Here’s to the female director’s succes!