The DCEU finally found its Batgirl this summer in the form of In the Heights breakout star Leslie Grace. Warner Bros. has been attempting to get a solo movie for Barbara Gordon off the ground for years, and now it’s finally happening. With Bad Boys for Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah behind the camera and a script by Birds of Prey‘s Christina Hodson, this HBO Max exclusive is now one of the most-anticipated DC projects for Bat-family lovers.
Grace’s casting was announced to the world in late July, and the actress herself privately found out the news in a sneaky but emotional way. The filmmakers asked the star to take part in “a final test” over video call and then emailed her over some new “text” to read. Though Grace was pretty suspicious about the whole thing, she told Variety in an interview that her “brain broke” when she found out she had actually landed the coveted gig.
“It was an incredible moment,” Grace said. “When I mean incredible, I mean the textbook definition of, I could not believe it. My brain actually broke when I got the news. The directors actually called me, and the producers were on the line. They called me under the pretense, or had me hop on a Zoom link under the pretense that I was doing a final test — that this was just another step in the process. It was the middle of the day, and I was looking crazy, and they were like, ‘Get on the phone really fast; this could be a final test or some news or something.’ So I hop on, and I only see our two directors, Adil [El Arbi] and Bilall [Fallah], who are so sweet. They were like, ‘Yeah, we just want to do this final test,’ but at the bottom I can see that there are eight participants, and it’s recording, and I’m like, ‘Alright, I don’t know what this is.’ And then they broke it to me like, ‘We just want you to read this text; we’re going to send it to your email.’ And I open it and it says, ‘I’m Batgirl, love Adil,’ and my brain broke.”
See for yourself what Grace had to say in the tweet below:
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Warner Bros. previously pulled the same trick when Sasha Calle was cast as Supergirl in The Flash movie. At this point, though, it seems the stars are getting wise to the move, so this might not work a third time. Interestingly, both Calle and Grace’s castings are groundbreaking for the DC universe, as they mark the first time Supergirl and Batgirl have been played in live-action by non-Caucasian actresses.
Grace will be joined in the Batgirl movie by J.K. Simmons, reprising his role as Commissioner Gordon – Barbara’s father – from Justice League. This confirms that the film will be set in the original DCEU and won’t be connected to Robert Pattinson’s The Batman universe. Don’t expect Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight to show up, though, as Grace has revealed he’s not set to appear. She wouldn’t mind a team-up with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, however.
The Batgirl movie doesn’t have a release date as yet, but it’s one of several streaming-exclusive DC films on the way, including Blue Beetle and Black Canary.