It was a tantlising prospect.
Whedon created the groundbreaking female-lead Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse TV series, as well as flexing his blockbuster credentials with the epic first two Avengers movies.
For many, many years has also made no secret of his love for female heroes Batgirl and Wonder Woman. His desire to bring Diana Prince to the big screen suffered numerous stalled projects and setbacks.
Finally last year he signed up for the upcoming WB big screen version of Barbara Gordon, the other biggest female crime-fighter, and fans rubbed their hands with glee at the idea.
Now it has all gone wrong again…
Whedon was set to write, produce and direct the comic book blockbuster. Shockingly, for such a prolific writer and creator of iconic big and small screen characters, the Hollywood filmmaker has confessed that he has choked.
Whedon told The Hollywood Reporter: “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 (DC president) Geoff Johns and (Warner Bros. Picture Group president) Toby Emmerich and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I…uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed?'”
THR and many commentators have immediately questioned whether Whedon and the creative team also felt under pressure in the current climate. There has been increasing focus on the under-representation of female lead characters in the comicbook movies, but also teh even greater lack of female directors.
After the astounding success of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, it may have seemed a step backwarsd for a male director to tackle the next major female superhero, even one who lead the charge for empowered female characters in the first place.