For three years now, Warner Bros and DC Comics have been trying to get a Batgirl movie off the ground, and now the project is finally taking some major steps forward. Just a few days ago, it was reported that three actresses were being looked at to bring Barbara Gordon to life. Now word’s come in that In the Heights star Leslie Grace has scored the role.
This casting update comes from Deadline, which reports that Leslie Grace has been cast to lead the Batgirl movie. Apparently Warner Bros was “already super high” on Grace from her performance in In the Heights, and her audition to play Barbara Gordon “sealed the deal as the choice.” Grace made her film debut in the cinematic adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes-created musical, where she played Nina Rosario. She’s also a professional singer who’s nominated for three Latin Grammys.
Transformers: The Last Knight’s Isabela Merced and Zombieland: Double Tap’s Zoey Deutch were also reportedly in contention for the role, and Unpregnant’s Haley Lu Richardson was in the mix during an earlier stage of the casting process. But as of today, Leslie Grace has been cast as the DC Extended Universe’s Batgirl, making her the second actress to play the character in a live-action feature film, following Alicia Silverstone’s turn as Barbara Gordon in 1997’s Batman & Robin. Barbara has also previously been played in live-action by Yvonne Craig in the 1960s Batman TV series and Dina Meyer in the short-lived Birds of Prey TV series, and Savannah Welch is playing her in Titans Season 3, which debuts on HBO Max next month.
The DCEU’s Batgirl movie was first announced back in March 2017, with Joss Whedon being hired to write, direct and produce the project. However, in early 2018, Whedon exited due to difficulty developing the story, and a few months later, Birds of Prey and The Flash writer Christina Hodson was hired to pen Batgirl’s script. Cut to May 2021, Bad Boys for Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were hired to helm Batgirl, and Kristin Burr is producing.
Rather than being released in theaters like plenty of other DC Comics movies, Batgirl will be an HBO Max-exclusive offering, which is the same approach being taken with Blue Beetle. No plot details for Batgirl have been revealed yet, although since Barbara Gordon is the star, we can count on her father, Commissioner James Gordon, being involved. However, rather than J.K. Simmons reprising Gordon following his brief turn as the character in Justice League, rumor has it that the role will be recast.
As soon as more Batgirl details are unveiled to the public, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know about them. For now, scan through our upcoming DC movies guide to learn what else this corner of the superhero movie market has coming up.