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Batgirl Voice Actor Tara Strong Opens Up About DC's HBO Max Movie And The Excitement Of Female Superhero Films

Tara Strong's Batgirl in Batman: The Killing Joke
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation)

Batgirl, specifically the Barbara Gordon incarnation, has been an important member of the Bat-Family for roughly five and a half decades, appearing in countless comic book issues and other forms of media. Pretty soon though, the character will hit a new milestone: leading her own live-action movie. In the Heights’ Leslie Grace is starring as Barbara in HBO Max’s Batgirl, and Tara Strong, who’s been voicing various versions of Barbara for more than two decades, opened up about the upcoming DC movie, as well as shared her excitement of female-led superhero movies in general.

I had the opportunity to chat with Tara Strong about Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse, the animated DC movie where Strong reprises Raven from Teen Titans Go!, as well as DC Super Hero Girls’ versions of Batgirl and Harley Quinn. But Strong goes back a long way with Batgirl specifically, having first voiced Barbara Gordon for The New Batman Adventures in the late ‘90s and also played a more serious version of the character in Batman: The Killing Joke. As such, I wanted to learn what Strong was looking forward to most from the live-action Batgirl movie, and here’s what she told me:

Well, there has been so many really wonderful female superheroes getting their own movies lately, which is really great. The Wonder Woman franchise, they’re amazing to watch, Gal Gadot, she’s so gorgeous and made for that part. They’re really well shot and the stories are interesting. I think anytime you give a female superhero and be an inspiration for young girls everywhere and friends of young girls, it’s exciting. So seeing [Batgirl] kick ass and being in her full power on her own is going to be exciting because a lot of the history of [female] superheroes and supervillains, Harley [Quinn] included, is they’re either a sidekick or in an abused relationship or some sort of thing that has now cocooned into all these girls getting their wings, so I’m excited to see what they do with her.

Although Alicia Silverstone played Batgirl in 1997’s Batman & Robin, that version of the character was named Barbara Wilson, and she was depicted as Alfred Pennyworth’s niece rather than Commissioner James Gordon’s daughter. So Leslie Grace is actually the first actress to play Barbara in a live-action movie, and she’ll be the star of this story rather than a supporting player. For Tara Strong, she’s looking forward to seeing Grace’s Barbara get to stand on her own, and hopes the Batgirl movie follows in the footsteps of the Gal Gadot-led Wonder Woman film series and other cinematic superheroines we’ve seen on the big screen in recent years.

The DCEU’s Batgirl movie entered development back in 2017, when Joss Whedon was tapped to write and direct it, but months after his exit in early 2018, Birds of Prey and The Flash’s Christina Hodson took over writing duties. By May 2021, Bad Boys for Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah officially came aboard as the new directors, and from there, the project started making steady progress forward. Leslie Grace’s casting as Barbara Gordon was announced the following July.

While no specific plot details for Batgirl (which started shooting in late November 2021 and finished rolling cameras at the end of March) have been revealed yet, we do know Leslie Grace’s Barbara Gordon will tussle with Firefly, played by Brendan Fraser. We’ll also see the return of J.K. Simmons as James Gordon and Michael Keaton as Batman, and Batgirl’s other cast members include Ivory Aquino as Alysia Yeoh and Jacob Scipio as Anthony Bressi, as well as Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson and Ethan Kai in undisclosed roles.

Batgirl doesn’t have a release date yet, although given that it’s set after The Flash, which comes out on June 23, 2023 and is reintroducing Michael Keaton’s Batman, it’ll likely be a while until we’ll be able to watch it with an HBO Max subscription. As for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse, you can hear Tara Strong and many more in it now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, and after premiering on Cartoon Network May 28, it’ll arrive on HBO Max June 28.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.