Batgirl writers

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s news that Joss Whedon is leaving Warner Bros. and DC Comics’ Batgirl movie, two acclaimed female writers are looking to fill the now-vacated writing slot. Roxane Gay and Hope Larson separately chimed in on Twitter that they’re ready to dive in and take over should DC come calling, and here’s the weird part: a DC executive actually responded to one of them. Learn more about the would-be Batgirl writers below.

Roxane Gay

Gay is a renowned author who has written well-regarded books (An Untamed State, Hunger) and collections of essays and short stories (Bad Feminist, Difficult Women). But perhaps her biggest piece of nerd cred is the fact that she was a lead writer for Marvel’s World of Wakanda, a Black Panther spin-off comic that earned praise for its treatment of women and the portrayal of LGBTQ characters (specifically Aneka and Ayo, members of the Dora Milaje).

After word came out yesterday about Whedon’s exit from Batgirl, Gay tweeted that she could write the movie without a problem:

That’s cool and everything, but it’s normally not enough for us to write an article about. What makes this different is the response Gay received.

That’s Michele Wells, a Warner Bros. executive who works on the DC film properties. Gay followed up by saying that she was indeed serious and would reach out to Wells via e-mail.

Writers taking to social media to talk about how they could tackle a huge entertainment project is nothing new, but it’s incredibly rare that a studio executive actually responds to one of those writers in public. But that positive public response to a black female writer may be indicative of DC’s approach to Batgirl. Whedon said he left because he couldn’t crack the story, but it may very well be a case of the studio not wanting a middle-aged white dude at the helm of one of a story about one of its most prominent female characters.

Batgirl underwater

Hope Larson

But DC actually hiring Gay to write the script is far from being a real thing. If that doesn’t work out, maybe they could have a conversation with comic creator Hope Larson. She’s a two-time Eisner Award winner, most recently for her work on the graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. In addition to a plethora of other work, Larson is the current writer of – wait for it – DC’s Batgirl comics.

I haven’t read any of her Batgirl comics, but our good friend Wikipedia says she crafted a run that saw the superhero (aka Barbara Gordon) “go on a backpacking trip through Asia on a voyage of self-discovery.” A quick glance at DC’s official site also reveals that a few of Larson’s Batgirl comics include crossover stories with Nightwing, another DC character who’s supposed to be getting his own movie. Maybe there’s potential for an on-screen crossover as well, seeing that these two frequently team up in the comics.

In any case, it’s downright bizarre that Warner Bros. finds itself in a position in which they’re essentially accepting blind pitches for major movies through social media. But if it results in a Batgirl movie that hails from a female writer who actually has a solid take on the character, it will all have been worth it.

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