The DC Films universe finally found its Batgirl on Wednesday, with news that actress and musician Leslie Grace has been cast in the lead role of HBO Max's upcoming Batgirl movie. The news comes after years of speculation surrounding who would be playing the beloved DC Comics heroine, and it certainly seems like fans are ecstatic to see the In The Heights actress take on the part. Grace took to Twitter on Wednesday to officially confirm the news, saying that she is "beyond excited" to portray Barbara, thanking DC for "welcoming [her] to the family", and assuring fans that she's "ready to give her all [she's] got."
I am BEYOND EXCITED to embody Barbara Gordon, your #Batgirl ! I cannot believeeee what I’m writing rn… THANK YOU DC for welcoming to the family! I’m ready to give her all I’ve got! 🦇💜✨ https://t.co/muq9GuVVk6— Leslie Grace (@lesliegrace) July 21, 2021
The Batgirl film has been in the works in some capacity since 2017, and has ramped up development in recent months, enlisting Ms. Marvel and Bad Boys For Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah to helm the upcoming project. The Batgirl script 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.
Created by William Dozier, Julius Schwartz, Gardner Fox, and Carmine Infantino and initially debuting in 1967's Detective Comics #359, Barbara Gordon is the young daughter of Commissioner Gordon, who moonlighted as a vigilante while working as the head of the Gotham City Public Library. Over time, Barbara began to become an even more prominent character in the DC universe, and after becoming paralyzed during the events of 1988's Batman: The Killing Joke, she pivoted to operating as the hacker and computer expert Oracle. In the 2011 New 52 relaunch, Barbara recovered from her paralysis thanks to a surgery, and has operated as both Batgirl and Oracle in certain contexts.
This will be the latest actress to portray Barbara Gordon in live-action, following with Yvonne Craig on the '60s Batman series, Dina Meyer on the short-lived Birds of Prey series, Jete Laurence on Gotham, and Savannah Welch on Titans. Alicia Silverstone also portrayed a version of the character in Batman & Robin.
The nature of Barbara's latest live-action debut has been a topic among fans for several years now, especially after she did not make an appearance in the Birds of Prey movie, despite being one of the founding members of the group. It remains to be seen if either Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett) or Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) will share the screen with this new Batgirl.
"She’s Batgirl!" Hodson revealed in a previous interview. "She’s all the things I love about Batman. I’ve always been more interested in humans than supernatural things and monsters. People are capable of profound good, but also profound evil. The things that people will do when you back them into a corner are amazing, terrifying, and wonderful at the same time, and it draws out these primal things in us — good and bad. And that, to me, is so fascinating."