Batgirl Casting: 11 Actresses Who Have What It Takes To Fill Barbara Gordon's Shoes

Batgirl in costume in the comics
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Earlier this month, Birds of Prey hit the big screen without a notable founding member among the lineup: Barbara Gordon. But, there’s a good reason why. A Batgirl solo film is reported to be in the works over at Warner Bros with the Birds of Prey screenwriter Christina Hodson on board. And since the world of Gotham is about to become a broader place with Matt ReevesThe Batman, there’s no reason why Batgirl couldn’t show up sooner rather than later. Naturally, it’s time for us to put our best casting picks in the ring.

Barbara Gordon was first introduced on the pages of the DC Comics back in 1961 and has remained a staple superhero in the universe ever since. When she debuted in Batman #139, Batgirl was a college graduate in her late twenties. But, there’s also her Birds of Prey identity “Oracle”, who follows a more seasoned Barbara who is wheelchair ridden. Nowadays, she is most well-known for being around 21 and our best guess is Warner Bros might want to inject some youth into their franchise with its Batgirl movie.

The movie has been in development for a few years previously with Joss Whedon attached before the story “just crumbled” in his hands, per his own words. Sure, it’s certainly been a hot minute since we’ve received a confident update about Batgirl, but since other films such as The Flash and Black Adam are starting to find their footing, it feels as if it’s only a matter of time until it’s time for Barbara Gordon’s first solo movie. So let’s get into it. Who should play her?

Kaitlyn Dever in Booksmart

(Image credit: (Annapurna))

Kaitlyn Dever

Ever since word of a movie about Barbara Gordon was announced, fans have been throwing out ideas left and right. The most recent actress to be at the center of Batgirl casting is Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever. The 23-year-old actress was rumored to be joining the DCEU after she was caught interacting with The Batman writers Matt Reeves and Mattson Tomlin. And actually, she’s a great fit! Here’s what Dever said when asked at the Oscars:

I’m not going to deny anything because I would be down. That’s all I’m saying. There’s nothing going on, I’m just reading all this stuff and I wouldn’t pass that up.

Dever’s actually an inspired choice for Barbara Gordon too. She’s shown her range between working in comedy on Last Man Standing and an emotional drama with Netflix’s Unbelievable. Plus, the resemblance is uncanny!

Margaret Qualley as Pussycat in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

(Image credit: (Sony))

Margaret Qualley

Another young rising star who DC should consider for Barbara Gordon is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Margaret Qualley. The 25-year-old just lit up the screen as Pussycat in Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-nominated flick, among the likes of Brad Pitt. The actress had a playful quality in Hollywood as she placed her feet on Cliff Booth’s dashboard that she could bring to Barbara Gordon.

Margaret Qualley is just starting out in the business but oftentimes that’s just what filmmakers are looking for when casting young heroes. (Think Spider-Man’s Tom Holland!) Apart from Hollywood, she’s been in The Leftovers, Netflix’s Death Note and Seberg with Kristen Stewart.

Zoey Deutch in Before I Fall

(Image credit: (Open Road Films))

Zoey Deutch

Zoey Deutch has been a shining beacon of spunk among Hollywood’s young stars and she’d kill it as Batgirl too! Besides often being known for rocking the red locks of the comic book character, she’s also proved herself to be an impressive actress packed with personality.

Deutch just had an incredible couple years since she starred in Netflix’s famed rom-com Set It Up, comedy television series The Politician and stole the show in the long-awaited Zombieland sequel, Double Tap. She’s also found roles in Why Him?, Before I Fall and The Disaster Artist. It’s about time for her to really enter the spotlight.

Sadie Sink in Stranger Things

(Image credit: (Netflix))

Sadie Sink

Now if Warner Bros wants to go with a more realistically high-school age Barbara Gordon for Batgirl, what about Stranger ThingsSadie Sink? The 17-year-old actress was a highlight of the Netflix’s series Season 2 and 3 as Max Mayfield, and she has a bright future ahead of her. Sink brought a mix of heart and fun to the talented cast.

With the release of Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman, Warner Bros already brought audiences quite a few female leads in their ‘20s to ‘30s and the franchise may be hoping to mix things up with a younger star as Barbara Gordon. Sink is a great pick for this and she’s got the classic look.

Anya Taylor Joy in M. Night Shyamalan's Split

(Image credit: (Universal))

Anya Taylor-Joy

At the happy-medium age of 23 is Anya Taylor-Joy, who has been finding herself with quite a few leading roles as of late. The actress broke out into the scene back in 2015 with Robert Eggers’ The Witch and has since starred as Casey Cooke in M. Night Shyamalan’s Split and Glass. Taylor-Joy will soon play Magik in The New Mutants and in period piece, Emma.

The actress is already an exciting Hollywood rising star who has transformed herself into each role of hers. She has brought a noticed emotional depth to her roles and a particularly badassery to them as well.

Karen Gillan as Ruby Roundhouse in Jumanji: The Next Level

(Image credit: (Sony))

Karen Gillan

Now for an actress who has actually put herself in the ring already – Karen Gillan! She’s already well-known for playing Nebula in four movies in the MCU so far and Ruby Roundhouse in two Jumanji flicks, but why not add another awesome role to her action resume?

When she was promoting Jumanji: The Next Level, Gillan shared her love for Batgirl, even raising her hand to star and direct the film as well! Her Batgirl would follow a more classic, older Barbara Gordon but she has proved her chops in the genre for sure.

Alison Brie in Horse Girl

(Image credit: (Netflix))

Alison Brie

Another pick for a more “seasoned” Batgirl (Batwoman if you will) is Glow’s Alison Brie. Many of us were introduced to this actress through Community or Mad Men, but she’s since become an accomplished Hollywood star. She’s best known for starring as the empowering female wrestler in Netflix’s GLOW and she’s also been in The Lego Movie 1 & 2, How To Be Single and Horse Girl.

Alison Brie would be a great Barbara Gordon because she brings a uniqueness to each of her roles. She can be really earnest and strong at the same time. She has a track record for being Incredibly funny and delving into the dramatic. She’s the kind of actor we’ve been waiting for her to find a BIG big screen part.

Kiersey Clemons in The Only Boy Living In New York

(Image credit: (Amazon))

Kiersey Clemons

In recent years, big comic book roles have been given colorblind casting in order to push forward Hollywood’s diversity kick. Even though Batgirl is famously red-haired and blue-eyed, it doesn’t mean she needs to be. Just look at how popular Zendaya is as the MCU’s MJ. Not to mention the fact that The Batman has cast its first black actor as James Gordon, aka Batgirl’s father.

Now, Barbara Gordon has leaned in between being the biological and adopted daughter of Gotham’s commissioner throughout the years. But either way, Kiersey Clemons would be a great choice for the part. The 25-year-old actress starred in Dope, Heart Beats Loud and Disney’s live-action Lady and the Tramp.

Yara Shahidi in The Sun is Also A Star

(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Yara Shahidi

Another actress of color who’d kill it as Barbara Gordon is Yara Shahidi. The 20-year-old has already had a really impressive career for her age and is a recognizable name among the young crowd. Shahidi most notably starred as Zoey Johnson in ABC’s family comedy, Black-ish and has since had a spinoff in Grown-ish for three seasons.

Shahidi was also in The Sun Is Also a Star and a voice in Smallfoot. She’s a great pick for Barbara Gordon because she knows how to play characters who are as likable as they are incredibly strong.

Thomasin McKenzie in Jojo Rabbit

(Image credit: (Fox Searchlight))

Thomasin McKenzie

A new name we might see more of real soon is Thomasin McKenzie. If you’ve seen Jojo Rabbit, you’ve seen this 19-year-old dazzle on screen. In the Taika Waititi Oscar-winning film she plays Elsa, the Jew hiding in young Jojo’s closet. The actress was in Netflix’s The King with Timothee Chalamet and will be in Edgar Wright’s next movie, Last Night In Soho.

Just the directors who have hired McKenzie feels like proof of talent enough, but she’s also showed off a unique ability to bring a special spark to her roles. She could definitely suit up as Barbara Gordon and fill those shoes well.

Sophia Lillis in 2017's IT

(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Sophia Lillis

Lastly, let’s go to just one of IT’s breakout stars, Sophia Lillis. The 18-year-old flawlessly played Beverly Marsh in Andy Muschietti remake and again in Chapter Two. The young actress was the heart of the coming-of-age horror flick and she brought a grittiness to Beverly as well. Could she be the next Batgirl?

Once again, Sophia Lillis is certainly the physical type to play Batgirl and could be a great choice for the role. She’s a rising star and if a potential series centering on Barbara Gordon is going for a younger actress, she is a really talented actress who could fill the comic book character’s shoes.

What do you think? Could you see any of the above actresses playing Batgirl? Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments below.

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Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.