Whedon Addresses Batgirl Exit
Attending the premiere of The Avengers: Infinity War, Joss Whedon opened up about why he left the DCEU Batgirl film. The writer-director walked back comments he made that he “didn’t have an idea” for the film, and re-framed it as a story that “fell apart.” Whedon’s last film, Justice League, underperformed with critics and audiences.
The Prodigal Whedon Returns
Few personalities loom larger in modern geek culture than Whedon. Between him and Kevin Smith, they paved the way for weirdos entering the mainstream in the mid-late nineties. Over the years, Whedon remained present and working on projects. However, he became more divisive. Certainly, some of that lies in recent revelations brought to light about his infidelity. Furthermore, his recent output hasn’t set the world on fire. Of course, his films are still big budget superhero films that clean up at the box-office.
Whedon ushered in the end of Marvel’s Phase One films with the first Avengers movie. The film saw the culmination of four years of superhero films. Since 2012, the MCU snowballed into a decade-long saga leading to Infinity War. While the one time “King of the Nerds” made Avengers: Age of Ultron, he cited exhaustion and took a hiatus from creating. In 2017, it was announced that he would take over production of Justice League while Zack Snyder mourned his daughter’s death. Thus began a wild news cycle full of rumors and speculation. Whedon re-wrote large chunks of the script and re-shot a lot of footage. The finished product was an undercooked hodgepodge of both Snyder and Whedon’s styles. Shortly after Justice League‘s release, WB announced the Buffy creator would write and direct a DCEU Batgirl film. On February 22, 2018, he left the Batgirl movie.
Many fans saw his exit as yet another nail in the coffin for the DCEU. When he first left, Whedon stated the reason for his departure was because he “didn’t have an idea.” This statement caused a firestorm amongst people who wanted a woman at the helm of the film. Understandably, the statement and Kai Cole’s blog post soured fans on Whedon’s involvement in most things.
On April 23, Whedon walked the red carpet at the premiere for The Avengers: Infinity War. Even though he left the MCU proper after Ultron, he remained an executive producer on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. During his appearance, he clarified his comments. In the video, he references the original story was pitched a year ago and that “a lot happened in that year” so he felt some of the story elements might not work as well.
The statement colors in the original comments, but also comes across very cryptic. He could be referencing the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp movements and the revelations about his personal life that came to life. Whedon is known for his strong female characters, and his real-life actions sullied his perceived feminism. He also states that he is working on something original and is excited about that. Check out the full video here.