HBO Max is expanding its DC library by showcasing new films featuring major characters from the successful comics library of the mega-franchise. One of them is DC's Batgirl.
The upcoming straight-to-streaming feature film will be directed by Ms. Marvel and Bad Boys For Life duo Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi, and it has been confirmed to explore the story of Barbara Gordon's version of the character. In The Heights star Leslie Grace has been tapped to play the titular hero, but other details about casting are still being kept under wraps.
Previously, it was reported that several actresses were in the running for the Barbara Gordon lead role, with names like Isabela Merced and Zoey Deutch being considered for the part. Given that Barbara will be the central figure in the movie, it is widely expected that her father, James Gordon, will be part of the ensemble cast.
Now, it seems that a returning DCEU actor will be part of HBO Max's Batman-related feature film.
J.K. SIMMONS RETURNS TO THE DCEU
The Hollywood Reporter shared that J.K. Simmons is in negotiations to reprise the role of Commissioner James Gordon in HBO Max's Batgirl.
Simmons previously portrayed James Gordon in the theatrical cut of Justice League and Zack Snyder's Justice League. Simmons revealed in 2019 that he was signed on to portray Gordon in three more movies, according to his contract.
JIM GORDON'S BATGIRL RETURN EXPLAINED
Many would agree that J.K. Simmons' return to the DCEU is a welcome development, especially after his short but memorable performance in the last two Justice League movies.
The reported comeback of Simmons as Commissioner James Gordon seemingly debunked a previous claim that the role would be recast for HBO Max's Batgirl. To recap, The Illuminerdi shared casting information which revealed that the film was seeking an actor in his 50s to play the Gotham PD commissioner.
This could hint that the return of the DCEU actor was not initially planned, meaning that this could be due to the multiverse-related shenanigans that Ezra Miller's The Flash will cement in his solo adventure. It remains to be seen if Simmons will portray the same version from Zack Snyder's Justice League, but if he is, then it means that Batgirl could be set within the confines of the Snyderverse.
This presents numerous story opportunities from an interconnected franchise perspective since it allows other actors from the Snyderverse to reprise their roles such as Ben Affleck's Batman and Jeremy Irons' Alfred Pennyworth.
On the flip side, there's a strong chance that Simmons' version of Jim Gordon will be an entirely fresh take after Barry Allen resets the DCEU in his solo flick. Doing this could create more opportunities for the actor to portray an alternate take on Gotham's well-known police commissioner without being confined by the established history from the Snyderverse.
Batgirl is set to stream on HBO Max sometime in 2022.