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My hopes for Batgirl's first film

I love my superheroes but when it comes to picking a personal favourite, it's Batgirl. Hands down. The first time I ever flicked through a Batgirl comic I was immediately taken by her balance between feisty and calm. Brainy but also good in a fight. Her redheaded-ness. And her vigilante backstory that is less I'm-a-rich-orphan-playboy-who's-parents-were-murdered and more I'm-going-to-fight-for-the-better-good-because-its-the-right-thing. (Internet nerds: I know Barbara Gordon isn't the only Batgirl, but she was the first one I became familiar with so pipe it down). 

Obviously I am overjoyed at the news that Batgirl is getting her own film, with Joss Whedon at the helm (did I mention that I'm also a Buffy fan? Oh, I did...very recently). The announcement did take me by surprise because - despite personally being a big fan - I didn't think she was lucrative enough. I had high hopes of her showing up in another DCU film as a sidekick (I'm still not over that Jenna Malone 'surprise character') or even her own television show, but never thought someone would consider her for her own title film.

Which is why the nerves are kicking in a little. Will it be given the budget to compete with Avengers or Wonder Woman? Is she mainstream enough already or would it have been smarter for her to have a cameo elsewhere first? As with all film adaptions of our favourite comics and books: will they do it justice? 

We'll have to wait and see, but in the mean time here are my hopes for the film. Are you listening Whedeon?

1. Joss Whedon employs female crew members
While Joss is very talented and I appreciate how many strong female characters he has created for the big and small screens, it's not enough. It doesn't fix the underlying problem of why there's a lack of strong female characters (answer: film execs are still mostly men). If Joss really is as much of an alley as he claims he'll be using his clout in the industry (and give up his own privilege) to discover and mentor talented young female directors/runners/script writers/special effects wizards/costume designers. 

2. Gail Simone
On that note - wouldn't it be amazing to have the super talented Batgirl writer Gail Simone involved? 

3. Feminist metaphors and undertones
One of the reasons why it's important Joss hires women to work with is to call him out and prevent any faux-pas (which all alleys do from time to time). Batgirl has always been a firm feminist favourite thanks to her intelligence and practical costume choices, so to not have a girl-power undertone would be out of place. 

4. Stephanie Brown and Oracle
I know this will never happen as Barbara Gordon is the version of Batgirl most people are familiar with, but I love Stephanie pulling on the mask while Barbara is the brains behind the missions. While shooting Barbara in her back (while naked! as a plot device to hurt her dad!) was an absolutely ridiculous decision, the writers did what they could with the situation and created something amazing from something so shitty. Barbara Gordon/Oracle became one of the best representations of a wheelchair user in comics (and pop culture in general). It would be great to see this replicated for the big screen (or a TV show). 

5. Black Canary 
I think we can safely say that Birds of Prey isn't on the table (boo!) but Black Canary regularly pops up in Batgirl comics and she's one of my favourite non-central characters. She's currently on the TV show Arrow so has received some mainstream attention - maybe it's time for some more? 

6. Dick Grayson
While the writers need to ensure that they don't make Barbara nothing more than a man's love interest, she and Dick Grayson are one of my favourite comic love stories. While their romance is on/off, whenever they share comic scenes I just feel it. I ship them like a teenager (so does Tumblr).

7. Alysia Yeoh
As Barbara Gordon's best friend in the New 52 incarnation, it would be difficult to not include her. As the first trans-gendered character in a mainstream comic, her inclusion would break new grounds and would be a great opportunity for a trans actress. 

8. A Gotham City Sirens cameo
If there's an upcoming film where a Batgirl teaser cameo would make's the Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwomen mash-up. It would introduce her to a wider audience and we'd get a first glimpse of her, without it feeling forced. 

9. Emma Stone
With some dubious casting choices recently made in the DCU, it's time fans were listened to. Emma Stone has been a top choice long before Batgirl was announced and I can picture her in the role. Though there are already rumours Lindsey Morgan will play her

10. Suitable for teens (and maybe children)
The DCU has been a bit dark so far, and maybe its time to lighten it up a bit. If Whedon goes down a Batgirl of Burnside route then it could open the universe up to a younger audience. Even if he goes for a different incarnation of the character, she is a younger member of the Bat-family so a teenage-aimed film could totally work. It would be nice to have a superhero film that parents can actually take their kids along to without being traumatised. 

11. That it's actually good
As a massive fan of Batgirl, I have a vested interest in this film doing well. But that's not the only reason. Female superheros aren't taken nearly as seriously and many internet nerds dismiss female superhero films - even before they're released. While female superheroes shouldn't have to prove themselves, they do - and it's not cool. 

Plus I'm a DC girl at my very core and I think I speak for all fans when I say the DCU needs a film that can recapture the awesomeness of The Dark Knight. Not another Zack Snyder shitstorm. 

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