A week after In The Heights‘ Leslie Grace was cast as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in Warner Bros.’ upcoming DC film Batgirl, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed J.K. Simmons is in talks to reprise the role of Commissioner James Gordon, Batgirl’s father, in the film.
Simmons was first cast as Gordon by Zack Snyder for Justice League, a role he likely would have played again had Ben Affleck stayed on as Batman for The Batman. Audiences got to see a little more of Simmons’ Gordon in Snyder’s restored vision, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, as he briefly helps Batman and the rest of the League in their investigation.
In the Batman comics and most multimedia Gordon is Barbara’s father, though he has sometimes been depicted as her uncle and adoptive father depending on the continuity. The two have a very strong relationship, but he’s largely remained unaware of Barbara’s activities as Batgirl and then later Oracle.
Gordon has been portrayed onscreen many times, most notably with Pat Hingle in the role for the Burton/Schumacher series of Batman films and Gary Oldman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy, though this will mark the first time Gordon and Barbara have appeared onscreen together as Schumacher’s Batman & Robin made Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl the niece of Batman’s butler Alfred Pennyworth.
Simmons’ potential return to the role also makes it quite clear Batgirl will be a separate continuity from Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman as Jeffrey Wright is portraying Gordon in that film. This could also mean a slight continuation of Snyder’s universe, though will likely have loose connections as Aquaman, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman 1984 and next week’s The Suicide Squad have previously shown in the grand scope of WB’s DC franchise and multiverse.
The filmmaking duo behind Bad Boys For Life, Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah, will direct Batgirl for HBO Max, while Christina Hodson, who wrote Birds of Prey and The Flash, has written the script. The film is expected to hit HBO Max in 2023.
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