A new actress is joining the Bat Family later this year in Batgirl, and it may not be the only time she puts on the cowl.
The first-ever feature film focused on Barbara Gordon is heading to HBO Max in 2022, starring 27-year-old Leslie Grace in just her second acting role following last year’s In the Heights. J.K. Simmons will be reprising his Justice League turn as Commissioner Jim Gordon in Batgirl, and Michael Keaton is set to play Bruce Wayne for the first time since 1992’s Batman Returns (and he’ll be returning again in The Flash).
Principal photography recently wrapped for Batgirl, and its star is shedding a little light on what to expect from her upcoming adventure in Gotham City.
THE MANY COMPLEXITIES OF BATGIRL
Grace couldn’t give specific plot details in a recent interview with Variety, but teases the many different components that make up the Batgirl film:
“I’ve seen some of what we’ve shot, obviously in the playback and stuff like that, and it’s insane. There are a lot of different themes in the plot that we touch on. It’s not just the action. There’s a love story. There’s this father-daughter relationship. There’s looking at the world through a lens that isn’t just black and white and seeing the color and the spectrum between things.”
It sounds like there will be a lot of complexities to Barbara’s story in Batgirl. Technically, the film will mark the first time the Barbara Gordon has been portrayed in a live-action feature, so there’s plenty of room for exploration as she balances being the commissioner’s daughter by day and a crime-fighting vigilante by night. There was a Batgirl in 1997’s Batman & Robin played by Alicia Silverstone, but the character’s name was Barbara Wilson, Alfred’s niece.
On the television side, Barbara Gordon appeared in the 1960’s Batman series, was one of the leads of 2002’s short-lived Birds of Prey show, and joined the cast of HBO Max’s Titans in its third season. Even though the character debuted in the comics in 1967, live-action adaptations haven’t been entirely successful, but that didn’t deter Warner Bros. from granting a singular spotlight to Batgirl.
In fact, Grace told Variety that if everything goes well, we could be getting a Batgirl sequel down the road:
“We got to see this first one first. But there’s definitely some talks about what it could be. We’ve already been talking about where do we take this from here because there’s so much that happens in the film.”
What will be interesting regarding a possible sequel is how the success of the first film is quantified. Since it’s being released straight to HBO Max, there won’t be any box office numbers to clearly display if a significant number of people turned out to see Batgirl. There will certainly be a critical response, which is one way to tell how well the film is received, but we’ll have to wait and see if Warner Bros. Discovery releases any official viewership data once Batgirl hits its streamer.
Regarding that last point, there’s still no word on when exactly HBO Max subscribers will be able to watch Batgirl from the comfort of their living rooms. The film is in the post-production process, and is still expected to release in 2022, but save for a few social media posts of the Batgirl costume, no official poster or trailer has been put out as of yet. As mentioned before, Michael Keaton is set to be in both Batgirl and The Flash, and since the latter has been bumped to 2023, that may mean a delay for Batgirl if it has to be in the same continuity.
In all, what’s your excitement level for Batgirl? Even though the film isn’t out yet, would you like to see more stories featuring Barbara Gordon? Make sure to comment below, and follow us on social media to keep up to date with everything going on in the nerdy worlds you love.