Joss Whedon has exited Warner Bros and DC's Batgirl movie almost a year after he signed on to write and direct. Whedon issued a short statement and was refreshingly open (in typical Whedon fashion) about his reasons for quitting.
“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 (Johns) and Toby (Emmerich) and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for 'failed'?"
When Whedon was hired for Batgirl, it appeared as though the DCEU could be at a turning point for the better after a heavily mixed response to the majority of the franchise. Following Zack Snyder's sudden departure from Justice League owing to a family tragedy, Whedon stepped in to finish the movie and reworked the script. However, the Justice League that hit cinemas was far from the homerun Warner Bros sorely needed. Let's not forget that Justice League cost more than $300 million to make, and could only muster $657 million worldwide. On the surface that might sound good, but the reality is the movie barely broke even.
Whedon's wealth of experience with The Avengers made him uniquely suited to bringing DC's Justice League together, but I call myself a fan of the finished movie. While an extended cut is almost certain to surface, I'm not holding out much hope it will be a significant improvement. Hey, at least Wonder Woman was awesome.
Batgirl remains a high-priority for Warner Bros, but with a Joker origin story with Joaquin Pheonix as the Clown Prince of Crime, the all-female Gotham City Sirens with Margot Robbie's Harley-Quinn. Then there's solo Batman movie, Suicide Squad 2, maybe Flashpoint, and a Harley-Quinn & Joker film, where Batgirl fits into that schedule is currently a mystery.