When "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator joss whedon signed on to the DC Universe, "Batgirl" movie almost a year ago, many fans couldn't think of a better choice. Joss Whedon has been a feminist ally since the start, casting and creating strong female characters in the geek world and beyond. He worked some Whedon magic on "Avenger's Age of Ultron"' and stepping in to cover for Zack Synder on "Justice League" after Synder sadly lost his daughter during production. Whatever your thoughts on the movies, it was clear that Whedon's skills were a welcome addition to the DC Universe.

Joss Whedon's surprise exit from the 'Batgirl' movie

With a resume of writing and creating with a sensitivity to feminist issues and a persona that always encouraged female representation, it's a shock to hear of Whedon's exit from "batgirl." This project made a lot of sense for Whedon, but in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, he states "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."

Did Whedon quit to avoid criticism from a feminist audience?

There is no official statement to give further insight into the surprise exit of Whedon. However, there is industry chatter that it says it may have to do with a changing cultural environment, is it right for a male creative to lead a film with which has the opportunity to rival Patty Jenkins' "'Wonder Woman"?

Shouldn't a feminist version of 'Batgirl' be lead by a woman rather than a man?

Back in August, Whedon's ex-wife and long-term collaborator, Kai Cole called out Joss in an article on The Wrap, criticizing him for being a "hypocrite preaching feminist ideals" after revealing details of repeated infidelity during their 16 year-long marriage.

A spokesperson for Joss Whedon responded to the article with “while this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations which can be harmful to their family, Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife.” The whole story remains unresolved, but in a post-Harvey Weinstein empire, this is another signal that the movie industry is changing.

Borys Kit said to The Hollywood Reporter, "In today's cultural environment, a male filmmaker may have faced greater public scrutiny if he were to have tackled a movie with lead characters of such feminist importance as "Batgirl" or "Wonder Woman", much like a white filmmaker would have seen backlash taking on the "'Black Panther" movie." Kit's statement hits the nail on the head.

Who will replace Joss Whedon on 'Batgirl'?

There has been no official statement on who will replace Joss Whedon on "Batgirl" just yet, but the rumor mill is already running. It makes total sense to replace Joss Whedon with a female-led creative team, so this is an exciting step forward for Hollywood in terms of representation.

Michelle MacLaren, Catherine Hardwicke, Lindsey Beer, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Karyn Kusama are just a handful of names that are already being suggested by fans and critics. It looks unlikely that "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins would take over, as she is already fully engaged with production on "Wonder Woman 2".

Whether you're a Whedon fan or not, this sudden exiting for vague reasons is an interesting one as it signals a cultural change within some of the biggest movie franchises in the world. This is an opportunity for female movie creatives to jump at. Joss Whedon moves on to his personal projects, which will no doubt be quickly snapped up by the likes of Netflix once they're ready.