The world of DC Films has been subject to quite a lot of speculation over the years, with fans wondering exactly which characters and roles might be stealthily established into the DC Extended Universe. Zack Snyder's crop of DC films have certainly had this happen, something that the director has an interesting perspective on.
During his recent The Director's Cuts panel event, Snyder was asked about the various rumors surrounding potential character cameos in his films, including the one that Jena Malone was expected to play Batgirl in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. As Snyder revealed, he definitely was aware of those sorts of casting fan theories - and the different responses to them - when working on the films.
“I don’t know, I mean, it’s hard, because [producers Deborah Snyder] and [Wesley Coller] are right there." Snyder explained. "And most days, Debbie, Russ, and I… we’re the ones that [will talk about them]. Wes will go ‘Hey, you know, I just saw this thing where they think Jena Malone is whatever.’ You know, like that. And I go ‘Oh!’ And then we just always… I mean the truth is, because we’re making the movie, and we’ve already kinda had the idea about what… we know what’s happening. If everyone’s mad, I’m like ‘Oh, it’s fine. They’re gonna find out what the real deal is, and then we’ll be fine.’ If everyone’s super psyched, it’s a little more problematic, you know? Because they’re like ‘Ah, that’s going to be so cool!’ And then I’m like ‘Well, maybe when they find out what we’re doing, it’ll be just as cool?’"
"So yeah, I don’t know. It doesn’t really bother me." Snyder continued. "I guess I’m used to it by now, a little bit more, I think, because just every single bit you do also has the other version that is not the version. Every single thing! No matter what you say, you say one thing, you actually say the words, like ‘I like Tobey Maguire!” And somebody will be like ‘He hates Tobey Maguire! He said that!’ It’s like ‘I don’t know if I said that? I actually said I liked him!’ But anyway, so that’s part of it too, so it’s hard to tell exactly how to feel about any of the sort of rumor mill as it goes forward. And I also think, we’re not that subversive. We don’t plant things either. So, maybe we should. But yeah, so also we kinda just let it… It has been, in my experience, that it all just kinda comes out in the wash, a little bit.”
While quite a lot of casting fan theories popped up around Snyder's DCEU films - ranging from Snyder's son, Eli, playing Robin in a flashback sequence, to Armie Hammer playing Green Lantern in Justice League - Malone's potential casting struck a pretty interesting cord amongst fans and skeptics alike. Fans initially believed that Malone was playing either the Carrie Kelly incarnation of Robin, or some version of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl -- only for her to play neither. Instead, Malone's role was as Jenet Klyburn, a STAR Labs scientist who speaks to Lois Lane in a scene that was ultimately cut from the theatrical release.
"The funniest thing that I learned about that is you don’t have to be in a movie to let everyone think you’re in a movie,” Malone said in a 2017 interview. “I learned a really interesting lesson in the sense of false PR—by me being just on-set of that, there were all these swirling rumors that I was Robin. And I was like, wow, this is actually a really interesting technique to get a job—to pretend you have it. It was definitely a lesson in public relations that I hadn’t fully engaged with that I would love to reinterpret in maybe a political anarchist type of way. It’s cool.”1comments
What do you think of Snyder's take on BvS' Batgirl rumors? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Upcoming DC films include Shazam! on April 5th, Joker on October 10th, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.