Batgirl: J.K. Simmons Teases "Completely Different" Side of Commissioner Gordon

When Batgirl makes its way onto HBO Max in the near future, it will showcase a new take on the DC Comics universe to mainstream audiences. One surprising aspect of the upcoming film will be the return of J.K. Simmons' Commissioner James Gordon, who previously portrayed the long-running character in both cuts of Justice League. Simmons' return in the film will be within a particular canon of the DC universe, introducing his onscreen daughter in the form of Leslie Grace's Barbara Gordon / Batgirl, and having him cross paths with Michael Keaton's take on Batman. In a recent interview with Discussing Film, Simmons teased the experience of returning to the character, and teased that audiences will get to see "a completely different side" of him.

"Well, that was quite a surprise. And I'm still not sure I understand all the various multiverse aspects of, you know, DC or Marvel," Simmons explained. "But yeah, I was completely surprised and very happy obviously. I had a lengthy phone call sort of having the story laid out for me before I even saw a script, and it was actually way back in the middle of the summer I think that they first came to me and approached me about doing it. I just finished my part, they have several more weeks of shooting to do."

"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."

Simmons also spoke about working under Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, and praised the "energy and passion" they're bringing to the project.

"Dude, those guys are crazy! I don't know how they do it, and they had been shooting for four weeks or so by the time I joined," Simmons revealed. "I met them via Zoom, and I was under the L track outside of my boxing gym in Chicago when we first spoke. They just bring such an energy. I've already compared them to a couple of like two-year-old Weimaraners, who have been pent up in the back of a station wagon all day and somebody just let them loose. The energy and the passion that they bring for making movies was a really fun energy to be around and then the fact that they also really know what they're doing is is a nice part of the overall experience."

Batgirl is 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, 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.