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Batgirl’s J.K. Simmons Explains Why He Was Excited To Play Commissioner Gordon Outside Of ‘Tiny’ Justice League Role

J.K. Simmons as Gordon in Justice League
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The DC Extended Universe is always growing, and Warner Bros. is about to break new ground with a few upcoming DC movies being produced specifically for streaming. Leslie Grace’s Batgirl movie is the first of these, and anticipation for the mysterious comic book flick has been growing partly thanks to its killer cast. And actor J.K. Simmons has explained why he was excited to play Commissioner Gordon outside of his “tiny” role in Justice League.

Comic book fans were thrilled when J.K. Simmons was announced as the DCEU’s James Gordon, making his debut in (both versions of) Justice League. But when the sequels and Ben Affleck’s Batman movie were scrapped, it seemed like this tenure as the GCPD officer was cut short. Luckily he’s back for Batgirl, explaining the difference in his character the second time around during an interview with Aframe. As the Oscar winner put it,

The tiny role that Commissioner Gordon played in Justice League was very businesslike and very, 'Let's see if we can stave off the end of the world!' What appealed to me about this movie was from Jim Gordon's point of voice, it's really more a story about him as a guy and as a father and not just about the guy who's turning on the Bat Signal and trying to keep the citizens of Gotham safe—although that's obviously also a part of the story. But it was a chance to delve into a different aspect of the character.

Well, there you have it. J.K. Simmons did have very limited screen time during Justice League, even after the role was expanded in the Snyder Cut. And now that he’s starring in Batgirl, the Being the Ricardos actor seems psyched about getting to dig deeper into who James Gordon is as a person. And that obviously includes his relationship to daughter Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl. 

J.K. Simmons’ comments to Aframe come as we’re gearing up for the annual Academy Awards. He’s already got an Oscar for his work on Whiplash, and was able to chat about his highly anticipated role in the Batgirl movie. It looks like we’ll be getting a much more personal side to James Gordon this time around, in addition to his work fighting crime in Gotham City.

Of course, J.K. Simmons isn’t the only iconic actor who has joined the cast of the Batgirl movie. Fans are also delighted to learn that Michael Keaton would be playing Batman, presumably training Leslie Grace’s title character in the ways of superheroics. Additionally, Brendan Fraser will continue his current hot streak (literally) by playing the villainous Firefly.

It should be interesting to see how well Batgirl performs on HBO Max, and if the characters get to have more significant roles in the greater DC Extended Universe. The streaming project marks the first time a protegee of Batman’s will actually appear in the shared universe (sorry to that dead Robin), and it would be awesome to see the Bat-family expanded. 

Batgirl is currently expected to arrive on HBO Max sometime in 2022, although it doesn’t have a release date. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.