If there’s anyone who can get inside the head of a young woman with an axe to grind, it’s Joss Whedon. Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer explored the circumstances that would make an ordinary girl do extraordinary things. Whedon will once again tackle that unique brand of female empowerment as the writer and director of Batgirl. He discussed the film while walking he carpet at Wednesday’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 premiere.
“She came up and I started getting obsessed with how a young woman could get hardcore enough to need to put on the cowl. Like, what’s her damage?” Whedon told The Hollywood Reporter.
While Batman’s origin story is well known, Batgirl’s motivations are less clear-cut.
“She didn’t have her parents killed in an alley,“ he said. "Who is this person, who decides — rather than being forced to by their childhood trauma — decides to pick up this life?”
In the comics, Batgirl — whose secret identity is Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, Barbara — has had her origin story told and retold a number of times. In one of her earliest appearances, Gordon takes up a life of crime fighting almost as a lark, when she intervenes on a kidnapping attempt while on the way to a costume party dressed as female version of Batman.
Whedon’s version will reportedly be based on DC Comics’ New 52 storyline, which finds Gordon fully recovered after being paralyzed by the Joker in Alan Moore’s iconic graphic novel The Killing Joke. Rumors as to who will play the caped crusader have ranged from Chloe Grace Moretz to Hailee Steinfeld.
Whedon said that if you’re a movie star vying for the role, don’t hold your breath.
“I doubt it’ll be a name,” he told Variety, Wednesday. “I think this is somewhere where you go and find Batgirl and then you cast her […] I mean, I’m not against movie stars, they’re great, but you need somebody who is just right. and a situation with this, the name carries a lot of weight so it’s not as critical.
If you’re reading this, Mr. Whedon, we have a suggestion.