After years stuck in development hell, the DCEU’s Batgirl has finally gained some real momentum. Joss Whedon was once circling the project before dropping out, with the latest draft of the screenplay hailing from franchise veteran Christina Hodson, who also penned the scripts for Birds of Prey and The Flash.
DC Films president Walter Hamada revealed his intentions to send the movie straight to HBO Max, but that hasn’t stopped Batgirl from recruiting highly-rated and fast-rising Bad Boys for Life duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah to direct, with pre-production beginning to ramp up ahead of a November shoot, in order to meet a projected early-to-mid 2023 release.
A new casting call has reportedly been leaked, and it looks as though J.K. Simmons could be out as Commissioner Gordon. The Academy Award winner only made one appearance as Batman’s trusted confidant in Justice League, but he was an inspired choice for the role, and the fact he’s shown up in twelve movies and eleven TV shows in the last three years alone would indicate he’d be happy to return if asked.
As per the casting call, an actress in her early 20s is being sought for Barbara Gordon, a strong supporting actor in their 50s is wanted for her father and police commissioner James Gordon, with the villain being a decade older and a disgruntled firefighter, which is believed to be Firefly. That would put 66 year-old Simmons firmly out of the running, and invite even more questions as to how Batgirl fits into the grand scheme of things.
Simmons is technically still the DCEU’s canonical Gordon, with Jeffrey Wright occupying the role in The Batman‘s continuity, so Batgirl could either be establishing yet another pocket of the multiverse, or simply ignoring the what’s come before to forge its own path.