In case you missed it, Joss Whedon recently exited the writer/director’s chair of Warner Bros.’ Batgirl pic because he “didn’t have a story.” That’s the party line, at least. Whedon had been at work on Batgirl‘s script for about a year without being able to crack its story. Complicating things were his assumption of Zack Snyder‘s director duties for reshoots and post-production on Justice League, the smashing success of Patty Jenkins‘ Wonder Woman, and some disturbing allegations from Whedon’s now ex-wife, Kai Cole. That’s a lot of drama off the page and not enough drama on it.
So now, Warner Bros. looks to replace Whedon as at least the writer if not the director of Batgirl. That obviously leads to the question of just who should take up that position. There are studio mainstays like Zack Snyder, David Ayer, and Patty Jenkins who have handled DC duties in the past, to varying degrees of success. Then there are folks like Jordan Peele, Seth Grahame-Smith, and Rick Famuyiwa who have been on Warner Bros.’ talent lists in recent years, but have yet to helm a big-screen comic book adaptation. Of course, there are a bunch of other talented filmmakers out there who have made a splash of late; might they be the next in line to shepherd a major solo superhero movie?
All available information suggests that WB will be looking for a female writer/director to take over duties for Batgirl, though their ultimate decision is anyone’s guess at this point. With that in mind, we wanted to highlight a few suggestions for who might be best suited to helm the solo Batgirl flick. We’ve also opened up a poll in order for you to get your vote in, which you can check out after these notable names:
- Dee Rees – Oscar-nominated co-writer and director of Mudbound and, more recently, the Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams episode, “Kill All Others.”
- Reed Morano – Emmy-winning director of The Handmaid’s Tale and Emmy-nominated cinematographer of Divorce. Currently filming the actioner The Rhythm Section with Blake Lively.
- Ava DuVernay – Oscar-nominated for her work on the documentary 13th, which she won a BAFTA and multiple Emmy awards for; Golden Globes-nominee for Selma; and director of the upcoming adaptation A Wrinkle in Time.
- Michelle MacLaren – Emmy-winning producer of Breaking Bad who’s onboard to direct The Nightingale and Cowboy Ninja Viking, was originally going to direct Wonder Woman, and took meetings for a Star Wars anthology film a few years back.
- Kathryn Bigelow – Oscar-winning director for The Hurt Locker—the first woman to achieve this feat—and Oscar-nominee for Zero Dark Thirty.
Karyn Kusama – While they’re not the best-reviewed films out there, Kusama’s certainly got the female-empowerment angle down with films like Girlfight, Aeon Flux, Jennifer’s Body, and an XX segment. Add her work on The Invitation and Halt and Catch Fire, and you have an intriguing choice.
- Lesli Linka Glatter – Oscar-nominee for a live-action short film, and multiple Emmy-nominee for both Mad Men and Homeland.
- Susanne Bier – Emmy-winning director of The Night Manager, and director of hard-hitting emotional dramas like In a Better World, Things We Lost in the Fire, and A Second Chance.
- Lisa Joy – Emmy nominee for Westworld who will direct an episode next season. She’d also be keeping Batgirl in the Nolan family.
- Lynne Ramsay – BAFTA-winning director of tough-topic dramas like We Need to Talk about Kevin and the upcoming Joaquin Phoenix thriller You Were Never Really Here.
- Greta Gerwig – Oscar-nominee for Lady Bird writing and directing, making Gerwig the hot name of the moment. And let’s not forget Frances Ha.
Marti Noxon – Emmy-nominated writer for UnREAL and producer for both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, who made her feature directorial debut last year with To the Bone.
- Angela Robinson - Has directed the female-focused D.E.B.S., The L Word, and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women.
- Mimi Leder – Emmy-winning talent behind ER, The West Wing, and China Beach, and executive producer/director of The Leftovers.
- Chris McKay – Director of The LEGO Batman Movie who is supposed to head up Nightwing for Warner Bros. and may be at the helm of Dungeons & Dragons for Hasbro/Paramount.
- David Leitch – Stunt pro who landed his first directorial work on John Wick, followed up by a solo gig on Atomic Blonde. Leitch is also at the helm of future actioners like the untitled Deadpool sequel and the planned Fast and the Furious spin-off, Hobbs and Shaw.