In the wake of Justice League’s box office disappointment and critically lukewarm reception, a rumor started circulating about the future of its filmmaker. No, not Zack Snyder—the other one. Indeed, when Snyder left the project to tend to a personal tragedy, Joss Whedon—who was already involved scripting new pages for the reshoots—was tasked with directing said reshoots and overseeing post-production. Whedon didn’t seek a co-director credit and received a co-writer credit due to WGA rules, but regardless, he had a hand in crafting the finished Justice League we see onscreen.
And so a rumor started making the rounds today that Whedon was no longer directing Batgirl, the film that first brought him into the DC/Warner Bros. fold in the first place. According to EW however, a much more valid and trustworthy source, Whedon is still currently attached to direct Batgirl and is hard at work on the script. Now this doesn’t mean Whedon 100% absolutely will be directing a Batgirl movie—the film hasn’t even been greenlit yet, and in Hollywood the status of projects can shift incredibly quickly—but as of right now, Whedon is still toiling away on the film.
Indeed, while Whedon had a strong hand in crafting Justice League, the filmmaker is taking no ownership (at least publicly) of the film at all aside from liking a tweet that took a dig at the terrible villain Steppenwolf. The film is not wholly his, and he came in and essentially did the best he could to shape what Snyder shot and what he wrote into something more in line with what Warner Bros. wanted. But this was not The Avengers, where Whedon was heavily involved in the development and scripting process from Day One. This was more or less acting as a helping hand.
So Justice League’s faults, if Warner Bros. sees it that way, are not necessarily Whedon’s to bear. Thus this rumor didn’t make much sense in the first place. Whedon wrote and directed two of the biggest superhero movies of the century, so why wouldn’t the studio want him spearheading a project of his own for DC?
The larger question here is whether a Batgirl movie is something Warner Bros. wants right now—or more accurately, three months from now. The studio is in something of a holding pattern at the moment with Aquaman in the can and Shazam!, which starts filming early next year, and Wonder Woman 2 as the only 100% greenlit movies in the pipeline. Development continues on films like Flashpoint, Suicide Squad 2, a Joker/Harley Quinn spinoff, Nightwing, and yes Batgirl, and the studio hasn’t exactly decided yet which films will come next. They’re certainly waiting to see what the Week 2 box office will be on Justice League and which adjustments need to be made to their impending slate.