News broke Thursday that Joss Whedon has exited Warner Bros’ Batgirl film, which he was slated to both write and direct. With the studio now in the market for a new writer and director, at least one prominent name has volunteered to take on scripting duties: Roxane Gay.
The Bad Feminist and Hunger author tweeted on Thursday afternoon, “Hey @DCComics I can write your batgirl movie, no prob.” Given Gay’s stature and popularity, the idea quickly took off, with the offer generating thousands of retweets and some pleas to Warner Bros. and DC Comics to hire her. But while it all seemed a little fun and diverting at first, it wasn’t long before it became clear that Gay’s pitch was being taken seriously.
Michele Wells, a Warner Bros. VP who works on DC projects, replied directly to Gay’s tweet to affirm the studio’s position. “If you’re serious…contact me,” Wells wrote, providing her company email address. Then came Gay’s response: “Yes I am serious. I will email you.”
Whedon, who previously helmed The Avengers and worked closely on Justice League, said in a statement that he “didn’t have a story” to tell for the proposed Batgirl film. “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,” he said. “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’?”
Gay regularly contributes to major outlets with cultural criticism and TV recaps, wrote the Black Panther: World of Wakanda comics series, and co-wrote the screen adaptation of her novel An Untamed State. The prolific writer is editing the 2017 edition of Best American Short Stories, and is also compiling a new book of essays about rape culture, Not That Bad, which features dozens of contributors and will be released on May 1.
This post has been updated to include Gay’s screenwriting credit.