Many expected to see JK Simmons as Commissioner Jim Gordon one last time in Zack Snyder's Justice League; Snyder even released his own plans for Batgirl in his universe including that take on the character. Fans were prepared to see Jeffrey Wright carrying the badge in Matt Reeves' The Batman and waiting to hear when Gordon would be recast for the upcoming Batgirl film for HBO Max.
As expected, rumors surfaced in July that the character of Commissioner Gordon would be recast in Batgirl and it seemed to be solidified when Leslie Grace was cast as Barbara Gordon. However, a week later, it was quickly revealed that JK Simmons was actually in negotiations to return as one of Batman's greatest allies.
Now, the casting seems to have been made official by the actor himself.
Simmons as Surprised to Return as Anyone
Josh Horowitz of the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast spoke to actor JK Simmons about his role as James Gordon in Batgirl. Simmons began by saying that he was just as "flabbergasted" as everyone else about returning as Commissioner Gordon:
"I was completely flabbergasted that they came back to me, you know, recently."
As Simmons spoke about his "more significant role" in Batgirl, he was quick to ask whether "this has all been announced" with Horowitz confirming that it has:
"And wanted me to be Commissioner Gordon again and have it be a more significant role in the—this has all been announced, right?"
When Horowitz mentioned Leslie Grace playing Barbra Gordon, Simmons praises the actress and says he'll be "on the horn" with her and the directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Simmons also mentioned that they would be doing "a little preliminary rehearsals" for the film soon:
"I think I'm going to get on the horn with [Leslie Grace] and the directors in the next couple days and do a little preliminary rehearsals on it."
Simmons said that he'd begin filming in "a couple of months" while the rest start filming "very soon," and he'll join them in January:
"A couple of months from now—well, they start very soon and then I jump on board sometime in January over in Glasgow, which is a wonderful place to be shooting it because it's gothic."
Simmons is "excited to be the once and future Jim Gordon" and has gotten a chance to "I had a long discussion with the guys about how we want to portray him and the script, I thought..." before contemplating on what to say without giving anything away, "I just don't want to give away anything!"
He continued by saying that the script was "a really interesting take on introducing Batgirl" and how much it fleshed out Commissioner Gordon:
"So, yeah, I'm not gonna talk about the structure or any of that, but I thought it was a really interesting take on introducing Batgirl and giving Jim Gordon—fleshing him out, certainly more than I had a chance to do in my first foray into that."
Giving Simmons a Chance To Shine as Gordon
It really will be great to see JK Simmons in an expanded role as Commissioner Gordon, as his appearance in Zack Snyder's Justice League was incredibly limited. So, it wasn't a surprise for fans to be disappointed at the thought of him being replaced before really doing anything with the character.
It's interesting how Simmons mentioned that the movie would have "a really interesting take on introducing Batgirl" in the film. It could mean several things, but it certainly sounds like Batgirl will try and do something different when introducing the teenage vigilante to general audiences.
Fans will get to see Simmons as Commissioner Gordon again in Batgirl on HBO Max in 2022.