Leslie Grace has gotten her wish as J.K. Simmons will play her father in HBO Max’s upcoming Batgirl movie. There were rumors that Simmons was in talks for the project, and Deadline now reports that the actor is now on board to reprise his role as Commissioner Jim Gordon. Bad Boys for Life star Jacob Scipio has also joined the cast, with Bad Boys for Life helmers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah directing. Christina Hodson wrote the script and Kristin Burr is producing.
In Batgirl, Grace plays Barbara Gordon, Jim’s daughter who fights crime in Gotham as the titular vigilante. Because it hadn’t been confirmed that J.K. Simmons would appear, Grace had said she was hoping for the veteran actor to co-star with her in the movie. She recently told Entertainment Tonight she was “freaking out” about the rumors that he would return, declaring out loud to Simmons, “I’m ready to learn a lot from J.K. Simmons. If you’re listenting huge respect and please play my dad! I hope you’re my dad.”
“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,” Leslie Grace also said of Barbara Gordon. “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.”
Plot details have not been revealed beyond the movie following the Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl. The casting of J.K. Simmons also suggests that the movie is set in the DCEU and not a standalone story akin to The Batman. It’s not clear if there will be any other connections or tie-ins to the DCEU movies. Simmons previously played Commissioner Gordon in Justice League and was again seen in the role in the four-hour extended cut Zack Snyder’s Justice League. He previously told ComicBook.com he was “willing to look at anything in the future” regarding a possible return to the role.
New cast member Jacob Scipio may be best known for his breakout role in Bad Boys for Life as a primary villain. He will next play the son of Antonio Banderas’ character in The Expendables 4. A rising star, the actor’s other upcoming credits include Pieces of Her with Toni Collette, Waldo with Mel Gibson, and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent with Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal. Let the speculation begin as to whom he will portray in Batgirl.
There’s not a release date set for Batgirl, but the project is intended to be released exclusively for streaming on HBO Max. It’s one of many upcoming titles to be developed exclusively for the streamer as Warner Bros. and DC Films look to expand the DCEU on both the big and small screens in the years ahead. This news comes to us from Deadline.