Looks Like HBO Max's Batgirl Movie Is Bringing Back A Justice League Alum

Along with Robert Pattinson playing Bruce Wayne for Matt Reeves’ The Batman and both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton reprising their respective versions of the Caped Crusader in The Flash, the Batman corner of the DC Universe will soon get more attention in the cinematic realm thanks to Batgirl. Last week, it was announced that In the Heights star Leslie Grace will play Barbara Gordon for the HBO Max exclusive movie, and now word’s come in that J.K. Simmons, who played Commissioner James Gordon in Justice League, is being eyed to reprise the role.

J.K. Simmons is currently in negotiations to take part in Batgirl, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Given that James Gordon is traditionally depicted as Barbara Gordon’s father (be it adoptive or biological), it makes sense that he’d be present for the Batgirl movie, but there had been rumors that the role would be recast. Evidently not, and assuming a deal is finalized, this hammers home that Batgirl is set within the DC Extended Universe continuity.

J.K. Simmons appeared as Commissioner James Gordon in both Justice League’s theatrical cut and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which premiered on HBO Max earlier this year. However, he didn’t get that much screen time, primarily appearing to give Batman (who he’s been allied with for years), Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg intel on the Parademon kidnappings across Gotham City. It probably goes without saying Gordon would have a much bigger role in Batgirl, although plot details for the project haven’t been revealed yet.

Commissioner James Gordon marks J.K. Simmons’ second live-action superhero movie role. He first jumped into the genre to play Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, and now he’s playing a different version of Jameson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Simmons has also voiced Jameson in various Marvel animated TV shows over the years, and he gained some extra comic book media cred recently by voicing Nolan Grayson, a.k.a. Omni-Man, in Amazon’s Invincible series.

Along with J.K. Simmons being courted for Batgirl, Commissioner James Gordon is also being played by Westworld star Jeffrey Wright in The Batman, with this version of the character having only just started working with Gotham City’s Dark Knight. So as with Batman himself, we’ll be spending time with several versions of Gordon from the DC multiverse in the near future. As far as Batgirl is specifically concerned, Birds of Prey and The Flash’s Christina Hodson penned the script, and Bad Boys for Life duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have been hired to direct the feature.

Batgirl doesn’t have a specific release date yet, but reportedly the plan is to release it on HBO Max in 2022. While we wait for more updates on this project’s development, browse through our upcoming DC movies guide to learn what else this corner of the superhero movie market has coming up.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

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