The live-action DC world has brought a number of iconic performances to the screen, ranging from characters who were mainstays to characters who only had mere minutes of screentime. Among the latter (thus far) has been J.K. Simmons' take on Commissioner James Gordon, who only briefly appeared in both cuts of Justice League, but still got a lot of praise for his take on the character. Fans were pleasantly surprised to learn that Simmons would be reprising his role in the upcoming Batgirl HBO Max movie, alongside In the Heights star Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl. In a recent interview with The Academy Awardss' AFrame website, Simmons spoke about returning to the part, and teased that the film will dive into "a different aspect of the character" through the relationship with his family.
"The tiny role that Commissioner Gordon played in Justice League was very businesslike and very, 'Let's see if we can stave off the end of the world!'" he explains. "What appealed to me about this movie was from Jim Gordon's point of voice, it's really more a story about him as a guy and as a father and not just about the guy who's turning on the Bat Signal and trying to keep the citizens of Gotham safe-although that's obviously also a part of the story. But it was a chance to delve into a different aspect of the character."
"She brings so much to it," Simmons said of Grace's performance. "I completely agree about In the Heights. She was really charming and compelling and charismatic in that-and she brings all of that to Batgirl in addition to pretty kickass stunt skills."
This echoes comments Simmons previously made to DiscussingFilm, where he specifically compared the ways that Gordon's character growth is explored in relation to the Justice League films.
"It's much more than I got to do in my brief stint as Commissioner Gordon in Zack Snyder's film," Simmons continued. "And really, it was fun because it was a completely different side of Commissioner Gordon. All that we saw in the little snippets of Zack Snyder's Justice League, in either the original or in Zack's brilliant, expanded cut, it was just Commissioner Gordon being business-like and needing Batman's help. In this film, I think I'm allowed to say since it does center on Batgirl, we see much more of Commissioner Gordon at home."
Batgirl is directed by Bad Boys for Life and Ms. Marvel alums Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and written by Christina Hodson, whose work includes Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) and the upcoming The Flash movie. The film is expected to also star Brendan Fraser as Firefly, Michael Keaton as Batman, Ivory Aquino as Alysia Yeoh, and Jacob Scipio, Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, and Ethan Kai cast in currently-unknown roles.
Batgirl is set to be released at a later date exclusively on HBO Max.