Writer's block? Seriously?
Well, if that's the song Joss Whedon wants to sing - actually, it was "I just don't have a story" to be precise - then that's the tune we're going to hear.
Didn't he get the ball rolling by pitching a Batgirl film to Warner Brothers/DC Films? What's really going on here? Could it be fallout from Justice League underperforming in spite of the hype surrounding Whedon filming reshoots over Zack Snyder's original cut of the film? Could it be his public image taking a beating from his ex-wife's statements about his philandering lecherous ways with co-workers at his production company? Could it be that he was given Batgirl on the condition that Justice League would be successful?
Maybe we'll learn more dirt as the days go on. I knew that with his name attached, a Batgirl film wouldn't be a pipe dream, but he was never clear about what he thought of the character beyond being influenced by Gail Simone's work...which kinda raises alarm bells, because due to editorial interference, a lot of what was happening in Gail's run wasn't particularly good. For my money, the best Batgirl comics ever were the issues Bryan Q. Miller wrote, with Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, ironically. Regarding Barbara Gordon, her best appearances as Batgirl were in Season 3 of the 1966 Batman TV series (as played by Yvonne Craig), plus in cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series , The Batman and in the respective tie-in comic books featuring those incarnations of Barbara. Plus, loathe as I am to admit, Barbara received significant character development in the 80's and 90's, when she was wheelchair-bound due to getting shot by the Joker in The Killing Joke and assumed the identity of Oracle. What's unfortunate about that bit is that it usually feeds a polarizing argument for keeping her in the wheelchair, in light of her current Batgirl characterization coming off superficial and lacking empathy. This is more a reflection of the quality of the scripts we've been getting to me...judging from the current comic books, it's still an ongoing problem that hasn't been reconciled. I don't know why DC Comics has been slow to change Batgirl writers - I wouldn't mind seeing K. Perkins take over the book now that Superwoman has been cancelled; I think she's good at writing natural dialogue and keeping a good pace with the suspense. If they could reconcile the positive elements of the character's evolution with their attempts at a soft reboot of the character's history, then her current comic book adventures would really start cooking. In other words, let Babs act her age.
Back to Hollywood. The Batgirl film is now "...no longer a priority." It looks like the next film in production is Shazzam, with Zachary Levi as Captain Marvel. After that, the only sure thing is the Wonder Woman sequel - everything else is..in the air. It's not clear if Flashpoint will happen, no clue if Matt Reeves' Batman movie will see the light of day (the underwhelming and tepid response to the possibility of seeing Jake Gyllenhaal as Batman does no favors). It always looked like DC was baiting TV executives with concepts for a Batgirl TV series, anyway, especially with the "Batgirl of Burnside" angle of the current comics. The floor is clear for that to happen.
Meanwhile, I'm still mulling over what might have been. I seriously doubted anyone took Lindsay Lohan's attempt to campaign for the part seriously...though in a parallel universe...to get an idea of how I imagine a different Lindsay Lohan's acting performance as Barbara Gordon, check out actress Caity Lotz's Sara Lance in Legends of Tomorrow. Hailee Steinfeld, of Pitch Perfect and True Grit fame, suggested as of last month that she would've loved to have played Batgirl in Joss's film..I actually see this as something that could have happened if things hadn't derailed the way they just did, even when it looked like Warner Brothers was going to push ahead and find a replacement for Whedon. At this year's Grammy Awards, Steinfeld showed up on stage in a stunning form-fitting white dress that showed off a pair of high-heeled, knee-high purple boots! If that wasn't a not-so-subtle hint about her campaign to play Batgirl...then she still looked great in those boots, regardless. She kinda looks like Yvonne Craig in some photos..that would be kinda cool if they casted her. I wouldn't object if they had.
Meanwhile, I had been narrowing down potential casting choices by selecting Lily Collins. She just seems like a capable actress who gets name-dropped here and there, but hasn't really had a breakthrough role - she's accumulated a number false-starts (The Mortal Instruments, Rules Don't Apply, Mirror Mirror) but nothing that stuck with an audience.
So no Whedonesque Batgirl, then. That's okay. Barbara Gordon won't sound like Buffy Summers or Winifred Burkle or Willow Rosenberg...or Veronica Mars. Barbara Gordon should sound like a woman who's as smart as Batman but has the poise of Wonder Woman and has Supergirl's enthusiasm mixed with Superman's humility. That's how she operates.