Looks like Batgirl will have to wait a while longer to see her story told on the big screen: Writer-director Joss Whedon has left the high-profile project.

In a surprisingly candid statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter, Whedon explained his decision to bail on "Batgirl," chalking it up to essentially a nasty case of writer's block. Here are his full remarks:

"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. I'm grateful to [DC president] Geoff [Johns] and [Warners Picture Group president] Toby [Emmerich] and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I... uh, is there a sexier word for 'failed'?"

Whedon caused some major whiplash among comic fandoms when he signed on for "Batgirl" back in March of last year, switching teams from Marvel (for which he directed "The Avengers" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron") to DC (for which he helped finish "Justice League"). But it seemed like he was a natural fit for the project, excitedly discussing his vision and sharing his hope that he could cast an unknown actress in the iconic part.

There were some early roadblocks, though, with THR reporting that Whedon "could not crack the code" for the film, and was perhaps a bit overshadowed by the monster success of last summer's "Wonder Woman," putting more pressure on the project -- and him.

THR writes:

Industry sources add that even as Whedon faced story issues, in today's cultural entertainment environment, a male filmmaker may have faced greater public scrutiny if he were to have tackled a movie with such feminist importance such as Batgirl or Wonder Woman, much like a white filmmaker would have seen backlash if they were to take on the Black Panther movie.

So perhaps it just wasn't meant to be. Here's hoping Warner Bros. and DC continue to pursue a "Batgirl" feature anyway (and maybe hire a female filmmaker this time around).

[via: The Hollywood Reporter]