Alright, which one of you wished on a magic lamp for a Joss Whedon-directed Batgirl movie? According to Variety, the Avengers director and Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator is in talks to write, direct, and produce a solo movie featuring one of the most popular characters in the Batman franchise. It's seriously a match made in nerd heaven.
Given what we know of Joss Whedon's career, it feels like the coolest and most interesting route to go down would be to model his movie after the popular Batgirl of Burnside run (with maybe some awesome Birds of Prey cameos thrown in for good measure!). It’s the easiest recent comic series to jump into if you don’t know that much about the character, and its upbeat, hip vibe—not to mention its wealth of awesome female characters—seems right up his alley. But who should play Babs and all her awesome friends? We have a few ideas we think you’ll love:
Barbara Gordon (Batgirl): Gina Rodriguez
We already threw out some ideas about who should star as Babs in our Nightwing fancasting, but given that it's Joss, we’ve narrowed it down to one: Gina Rodriguez. Can't you just picture Whedon's quippy, irreverent dialogue coming out of her mouth? It just feels right to me, how about you?
Frankie Charles (Operator): Phoebe Robinson
Speaking of things that just feel right, Phoebe Robinson's bright, exuberant presence on her many podcasts (Sooo Many White Guys, Two Dope Queens) is a perfect match for Frankie, who's lately taken on the role of Bab's superhero tech support—think Felicity Smoak in Arrow, or… well, Barbara Gordon as Oracle in older DC comics continuity.
Fugue: Fran Kranz
Without spoiling the Burnside run for those who haven’t read it, The Fugue is a baddie who acts like he's Barbara's chill friend at first, before turning on her in a really creepy way. Fran Kranz tends to play the affable comic relief in Whedon's projects (Cabin In The Woods, Dollhouse), but I have no doubt he has the potential to be really excitingly sinister.
Dick Grayson (Nightwing): Steven Yeun
Dinah Lance (Black Canary): Ashley Johnson
Johnson and Whedon have worked together on several projects, including The Avengers and Much Ado About Nothing. She's also the voice of Ellie in The The Last Of Us—no, really. She might not look as punk rock as you'd expect the Black Canary to be, but clearly she’s got range, and an incredibly compelling singing voice to boot.
Helena Bertinelli (Huntress): Ruth Negga
The new 52 version of Helena might have a stronger connection to Dick Grayson than she does Barbara Gordon, but come on—it's Joss Whedon, of course he's gonna try for a Birds of Prey team-up if he can. Of the actors we considered for Helena when we fancast Nightwing (last crossover casting choice, we promise!), Ruth Negga stands out to us. After all, she was on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., so she knows her way around a Whedon production!
Stephanie Brown (Spoiler): Dakota Fanning
Dakota's probably a little too big-name to play a relatively minor character in Batgirl, all things considered, but wouldn't you KILL to see her fighting crime in the Spoiler outfit? Or maybe even her own Batgirl suit! I’m not about to get picky about how I like my Stephanie Brown—just so long as she gets the chance to shine.
Harper Row (Bluebird): Brianna Hildebrand
Listen, I know, I know, she's the perfect Negasonic Teenage Warhead in Deadpool and Twentieth Century Fox probably has dibs on her superhero career from now until eternity. But picture her with a blue mohawk and just try and tell me she wouldn't make an exceptional Bluebird if given the chance.
Cassandra Cain (Black Bat): Jing Tian
If Cassandra Cain doesn’t get at least a namedrop, I will eat my hat, because she's exactly the type of character Whedon lives for. Jing Tian's about to become huge thanks to her roles in The Great Wall, Kong: Skull Island, and the upcoming Pacific Rim: Uprising, and she'd definitely knock it out of the park as the Black Bat.
Luke Fox (Batwing): J. August Richards
The son of Lucius Fox, Luke's not only a superhero in his own right, but he features as Barbara Gordon's love interest in the recent Burnside comic run. J. August Richards' about ten years older than our choice for Babs, admittedly, but he also hasn’t aged a day since co-starring on Angel, so I'm willing to overlook the age difference if it means getting him on the big screen for at least a cameo.
Alysia Yeoh: Ivory Aquino
Alysia was Barbara Gordon's roommate during Gail Simone's New 52 run, which was Barbara's first solo-led comic in decades. She's also notable for being one of the few transgender characters in superhero comics today, which means that if Warner Brothers really wants to step up, they are going to find a transgender actress of Asian descent to play the part. Don't tell me it's too difficult a challenge, because Aquino is currently starring on the gay rights-focused miniseries When We Rise right now! The talent is there if you’re willing to look for it!
Anybody else you think we’re missing? Tell us all about it in the comics!
Images: DC Comics, The CW, AMC, Above Average, Fox, Summit Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Legendary East, ABC