J.K. Simmons has yet to be officially confirmed for Batgirl, but star Leslie Grace is keeping her fingers crossed. The upcoming movie, which has been in gestation for several years, will finally arrive as an HBO Max exclusive in 2022. In July, it was announced that Grace had been cast in the lead role as Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon who fights crime as the titular vigilante.
Because J.K. Simmons plays Commissioner Gordon in the DCEU, most recently appearing in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, he seems to be the most likely choice to play the character in Batgirl. There are rumors that he’s in talks with HBO Max to make it happen, but his casting has yet to be announced. Speaking about the rumors on Entertainment Tonight, Grace confirmed that nothing is official just yet, but as she’s eager to work with Simmons, she’s hoping he gets the part.
“Oh my gosh! What?! I am freaking out about [the rumors]. I’m ready to learn a lot from J.K. Simmons. If you’re listening, huge respect and please play my dad! I hope you’re my dad.”
In the interview, Leslie Grace also explained how Batgirl is just her second role, but this actually helps her relate better to the Barbara Gordon character. The In the Heights star notes how she’s learned from her colleagues and friends how you “put a little bit of yourself” into each role, and from the research she’s done so far, she’s already found many similarities with Barbara. Like Barbara, Grace is also looking to prove herself and can’t wait for everyone else to see it happen.
“She’s someone who’s been underestimated by even her own dad and being the youngest kid, sometimes you’re insulated from all of the tough stuff of life and she’s so eager to prove to herself and to everybody else that there’s some things that she can handle. So, this journey is definitely going to show me a lot of that. I feel like I’m on an endless journey of proving to myself what barriers I can break, what limits I can break for myself and I’m excited to put a little bit of that eagerness and drive and, like, almost a bit of stubbornness into Barbara’s character.”
Earlier this year, J.K. Simmons teased that he’d be up for returning to the role of Jim Gordon. In March, the actor told ComicBook.com he’s “willing to look at anything in the future,” concerning a possible return to the DCEU. Originally, he had signed on to portray the character in three movies.
Filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are set to direct Batgirl. Christina Hodson, who penned Birds of Prey and the upcoming movie The Flash, is writing the script. Batgirl is planned for a release on HBO Max in 2022 with an official premiere date yet to be announced. Other projects in the works for HBO Max based on DC Comics characters include Zatanna, Static Shock, and Blue Beetle. You can check out the full interview with Grace about Batgirl at Entertainment Tonight.