Given the tepid reaction to the DC cinematic universe over the last year it’s hard to imagine any new film set in their shared world raising anything other than a murmur of interest. However that was before Variety broke the news that Joss Whedon is close to signing on the dotted line to write, produce and direct a Batgirl movie. Frankly it’s an obvious choice, given Whedon’s long work with the perennial ‘strong female characters’, however his work with Marvel’s Avengers films is surely what helped DC and Warner Bros. roll out the red carpet for him.

Joss WhedonBatgirl (aka Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner Gordon) has already featured in one DC film this year, in The LEGO Batman Movie, however the character has languished on the live action stage since Alicia Silverstone played the role in 1997’s Batman and Robin. The report states that other DC characters would be expected to make an appearance.

Jumping from one comic book universe to another won’t be a challenge for many directors, and hopefully WB/DC will let Whedon be Whedon. DC are streaming ahead with the female-led superhero films with Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman out in a matter of months, and a Harley Quinn-led Gotham City Sirens. Back before the comic book movie industry blossomed into the herd of cash cows it has become Whedon was developing his own Wonder Woman film.

Speaking to Maxim Whedon spoke of the quiet death of the movie from 2005,

I wrote a script. I rewrote the story. And by the time I’d written the second script, they asked me…not to. [Laughs] They didn’t tell me to leave, but they showed me the door and how pretty it was. Would I like to touch the knob and maybe make it swing?

He also had a very interesting take on the relative ease with which Marvel found success where DC were struggling to bring their characters to the big screen.

“DC’s heroes are from a different era. They’re from the era when they were creating gods. And the thing that made Marvel extraordinary was that they created people. Their characters didn’t living in mythical cities, they lived in New York. They absolutely were a part of the world. Peter Parker’s character was a tortured adolescent. DC’s characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman and Green Lantern, were all very much removed from humanity. Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to.”

It’ll be interesting to see how Whedon brings Batgirl to the DC Cinematic Universe, and if they last few years have altered his view on the difference he spoke of here. But let’s be clear – Joss Whedon, the man who has brought so many female superheros to the big and small screens, is doing it again. And on one of the biggest, and most influential canvases in the world.