Over the last year, we’ve already seen how open the future of superhero films is becoming. Just this past week saw the release of Wonder Woman 1984 to both theaters and HBO Max on the same day, and it seems as though HBO Max and DC plan on continuing a more unconventional release pattern for future work. In a recent interview with The New York Times, DC Films president Walter Hamada discussed upcoming movies that could release only on HBO Max, discussing the possibility of a Batgirl film.
In the piece, Walter Hamada discusses how DC’s distribution plan will change over the coming years. Hamada states that their more expensive films are still planned for a theatrical release, and starting in 2022, could include as many as four films per year. At the current rate of release, DC is releasing only one or two films per year, and have done so since 2016. Yet it is also mentioned that riskier characters that don’t aren’t as well-known could star in their own HBO Max films. The goal is to make two of these films per year, with the two examples given being Batgirl and Static Shock.
While this is far from confirmation that DC is actively working on a Batgirl film, it does seem interesting that it was at the top of Hamada’s mind. There have been whispers of a Batgirl film for years now. In 2016, Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn said he would like to direct a Batgirl film. Back in 2017, Joss Whedon was set to direct a Batgirl movie, but Whedon left the project in 2018 when he said he didn’t have a story. The last evidence of a Batgirl movie in development came in 2018, when Warner Bros. announced Birds of Prey and Bumblebee writer Christina Hodson would be working on the screenplay, and that the studio was looking for a female director for the project.
Batgirl has made appearances outside the comic books since 1967’s Batman television series, where she was played by Yvonne Craig. The character has appeared in multiple animated series, including Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and most recently, in HBO Max’s Harley Quinn series. As for films, Batgirl was played in the 1997 Batman & Robin by Alicia Silverstone, while Rosario Dawson voiced the character in The Lego Batman Movie.
Batgirl had somewhat of a resurgence with several reintroductions of the character through the comic books. With so many different iterations of Batman currently being introduced into the DC Universe, it’s unclear where Batgirl would lineup. It seems unlikely that a standalone Batgirl film would be part of Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman, slated for release in 2022. But if a Batgirl film did take off on HBO Max, it seems likely she could possibly be introduced into the larger DC Extended Universe of films. Hamada does not say how these HBO Max original films and the larger theatrical films would be tied together, if at all.
With DC desperately needing more strong female heroes in their roster, and the expansion of DC through HBO Max, now might be the perfect time to give Batgirl her own film.