HBO Max's Batgirl film has officially cast a fan-favorite character. On Monday, reports confirmed that Tales of the City and When They See Us star Ivory Aquino will be playing Alysia Yeoh in the upcoming live-action movie. This comes after casting breakdowns had previously hinted at Alysia, who is one of DC's most notable transgender characters, appearing in the film. Set photos from the project surfaced last week showing Aquino alongside Barbara Gordon actress Leslie Grace and actor Jacob Scipio, who is currently playing an unknown role in the film.
Created by Gail Simone and Ardian Syaf, Alysia first made her debut in 2011's Batgirl #1, as she and Barbara became roommates. A painter and bartender who aspired to be a professional chef, Alysia and Barbara quickly became friends — something that was complicated when Alysia briefly dated Barbara's serial killer brother, James Gordon Jr.. Alysia came out as a transgender woman in Batgirl #19, making her the first canon transgender character in DC Comics. Alysia has remained a close friend of Barbara's in the decade since, and got married to a political activist named Jo Munoz. An alternate version of Alysia also appeared in the Bombshells universe, as a member of the Batgirls group inspired by Batwoman.
Batgirl is helmed by Ms. Marvel and Bad Boys For Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, with a script from Birds of Prey and The Flash screenwriter Christina Hodson. The film is expected to see JK Simmons reprising his role as Commissioner James Gordon, Michael Keaton reprising his role as Bruce Wayne / Batman, and Scipio, Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, and Ethan Kai cast in currently-unknown roles.
"I've never fought in my life, so we are working really hard every day to get my body used to all the motions!" Grace said in a recent interview with Billboard of her preparation for the film. "I'm also reading a ton of comics and, believe it or not, keeping my eye out for tweets from our beloved DC comic fans to see what they are excited to see in my iteration of Babs! Research is everything."
"I'm so excited to honor this iconic character whose legacy spans over 50 years," Grace continued. "It's a huge responsibility but also an honor -- and I want to do my very best to make sure she gets the best of all I have to give!"
Are you excited to see HBO Max's Batgirl movie? What do you think of the project officially casting Alysia Yeoh? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!