Just yesterday news broke that Joss Whedon is nearing a deal to write, direct and produce a solo Batgirl movie for Warner Bros. as part of the DC extended universe — great news for many reasons, and if it weren’t for Whedon’s proven track record, I’d be a lot crankier about WB choosing him instead of a woman. The biggest question, of course, is which version of Batgirl will Whedon choose to adapt? As it turns out, the obvious answer may very well be the correct one.

That is, if EW’s follow-up reporting is to be believed. According to their sources, Whedon’s Batgirl movie will be based on DC Comics’ New 52 storyline, which is kind of a big deal for a few reasons, not the least of which is that it takes place years after the events of Alan Moore’s infamous (and rather controversial) Batman graphic novel The Killing Joke, in which Barbara Gordon is rendered paralyzed when the Joker shoots her in the spine — and that’s hardly the worst thing that happens to her in that story.

Written by Gail Simone, the beloved series began in 2011 and saw Barbara fighting crime on her own two feet again after a successful experimental surgical procedure allows her to leave her wheelchair (and the name Oracle) behind — though she continues to cope with her past trauma (a thoughtful touch).

Simone’s series was significant for another reason: It also featured the first openly transgender character in a mainstream comic-book series. The character’s name is Alysia Yeoh, and she’s Barbara Gordon’s best friend. Simone herself commented on the possibility of Alysia appearing in Whedon’s film late last night:

Although nothing is confirmed, it’s difficult to imagine Whedon making a Batgirl film based on Simone’s New 52 story and not including Alysia Yeoh — that had to be a draw for him, right? When major studios like Marvel and Warner Bros. are still avoiding LGBTQ representation in superhero movies (Wonder Woman, we’re looking your way), the idea of a Batgirl movie where her BFF is a young transgender woman, and the messages that could send, the reach it could have…it’s hopeful, to say the least.

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