Christina Hodson, a screenwriter who has also written the upcoming Transformers spin-off Bumblebee, has officially been tapped by Warner Bros. to bring the Batgirl script to fruition. Previously helmed by Joss Whedon, the project had been in limbo after Whedon pulled out, admitting at the time that he essentially just didn’t have any concepts for Batgirl that would have done the character justice. One can’t help but wonder if the accusations of Whedon’s “fake feminism” might have played a part in the decision as well, with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator deciding it might be a better move to step out of the limelight.
Regardless, Hodson is now in, which means the Batgirl movie is back on track. The film will bring the character of Barbara Gordon back to the big screen for the first time since Alicia Silverstone played her in the patently ridiculous Batman & Robin in 1997.
The daughter of Commissioner Gordon, Barbara is a headstrong woman with strong natural gifts in gymnastics and martial arts. As Batgirl, she becomes part of the so-called “Bat Family” of extended heroes that includes the likes of Robin, Nightwing, Huntress, Black Canary, Spoiler and so many others in the Batman comics. Batgirl has been a staple of those comics for a long time, although she was famously shot and paralyzed by The Joker in The Killing Joke, which resulted in Gordon dropping the Batgirl moniker and becoming the wheelchair-bound tech support hero known as Oracle, while others took on the Batgirl cowl.
Hodson has apparently already written some form of the character before, helping to develop a still-unannounced feature project based on the Birds of Prey—an all-female crime fighting force in Gotham composed of various Bat Family members. One has to assume that a solo Batgirl film would probably arrive before a Birds of Prey movie, though.
Back in the summer of 2017, a shortlist even leaked for potential Batgirl stars. They included names both expected (Elle Fanning, Emma Roberts) and less so (Bella Thorne, Haley Lu Richardson), but of particular interest is Olivia Cooke, who has seen her star on the rise in the last year via prominent roles in Ready Player One and especially Thoroughbreds. If you want our pick, it goes to Cooke.
Obviously, given that it’s just now acquiring another writer, the Batgirl film is still a ways away. We’ll bring you further news on the popular DC Comics heroine as it breaks.