Joss Whedon has exited writing/directing duties for Warner Bros' DCEU Batgirl movie.
In his rather candid statement to The Hollywood Reporter regarding his departure, the former Avengers MCU mastermind said:
“Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realize I really didn’t have a story. I’m grateful to Geoff and Toby and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed’?”
Though, when you read between the lines of the trade's reporting on the issue, THR's story also goes on to say:
"Industry sources add that even as Whedon faced story issues, in today’s cultural entertainment environment, a male filmmaker may have faced greater public scrutiny if he were to have tackled a movie with such feminist importance such as Batgirl or Wonder Woman, much like a white filmmaker would have seen backlash if they were to take on the Black Panther movie."
I mean, duh. Could it be that Whedon's version of the movie was in trouble all along, following some scandalous revelations regarding his relationships with women who worked under him throughout his years in the entertainment industry? Even if Whedon were to continue on as the main creative force behind a Batgirl picture, his feminist bona fides were already in question by many (including longtime fans).
So, what the hell do you do here if you're DC and WB? Do you continue on with the project? With the massive success and cultural importance of Wonder Woman, the property seems like a no brainer for the companies. You just need the right talent to move it forward.