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Joss Whedon Reveals the Real Reason He Left the Batgirl Movie

Just don't come back to it ...

Tara Strong as Batgirl in Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)

Like him or not, due to his work with Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Firefly, Joss Whedon will always occupy a semi-venerated position in fandom. Even to people like me who are aware that he has definitely not evolved as a writer since Buffy and Firefly.

After the double mediocre combo of Age of Ultron and Justice League, I was relieved when Whedon left the Batgirl project. Not only because many of us felt that sort of directorial position should go to a woman, after reading the leaked Wonder Woman script I think we all had a collective “wtf is this side-eye.”

When he left the project, Whedon said it was because he “didn’t have a story.” Well, in an interview with Variety, he admits that there was a story in place … it just didn’t seem to work.

“It had been a year since I first pitched the story,” he told Variety. “A lot happened in that year, and I felt some of the elements might not work as well. The story sort of crumbled in my hands. There were elements that I just hadn’t mastered.”

He finishes by saying that the idea he finally came up with, “didn’t fit in the space that was left for it. It was a little heartbreaking because I was so excited for it.”

Whedon also had words for the critics of his Wonder Woman script:

“People say that it’s not woke enough,” he said. “I think they’re not looking at the big picture. It’s easy to take one phrase out of context. Not that I was the most woke individual that ever lived at that time ten years ago, but I was in there swinging and the movie has integrity and the characters have integrity and I stand by it.”

While Joss will stand by his original concept, Bumblebee writer Christina Hodson has been tapped to craft the script for the Batgirl movie in his place.

Now despite my shade, I don’t feel like Joss Whedon has to disappear quietly into the night, but I think he needs to grow to meet the standards of feminism that exist today. Buffy is and will always be one of the iconic pieces of 90s and early 2000s pop culture feminism. There are tons of women who were inspired and continue to be moved by the story he crafted. I love Buffy, even if they didn’t have any good black characters on the show for more than two episodes until the final season, but from Dollhouse onward, Joss Whedon has been shown to have a limited idea of female empowerment.

Even in Avengers, a movie I do enjoy, there is something off about all the characters as they are interacting. They all sound like Whedon characters and they shouldn’t.

As for that Wonder Woman script. Listen, we all have problematic fanfiction in our past that we love, but I wouldn’t “stick by it.” The Wonder Woman movie we got from Patty Jenkins wasn’t “woke” but it was well made and had zero scenes of Diana having to do a seductive dance to distract bad guys. Nor did it have the up-skirt shots of Justice League.

Just saying.

(via UPROXX, image: Warner Bros/Dc)

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