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.