Ms. Marvel Directors Tease "Much Darker" Batgirl Movie

Ms. Marvel directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are going from Jersey City to Gotham City. About Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), a 16-year-old Pakistani-American living in the MCU's Jersey City, the Disney+ series transforms the superhero fangirl's vibrant imagination into colorful, whimsical reality. But the Bad Boys for Life directing duo, known professionally as Adil & Bilall, are bringing a Burtonesque touch back to Gotham when Barbara Gordon (Leslie Grace) suits up opposite Batman (Michael Keaton) in DC's Batgirl movie.

"The thing is that it's also an origin story, but obviously, Batgirl is in Gotham City, so it's going to be much darker than Ms. Marvel," El Arbi told SlashFilm after Wednesday's Ms. Marvel finale. "And our main character is older. I mean, she's not a teenager, she already has a job."

As an officer in the Gotham City Police Department and the daughter of police commissioner Jim Gordon (Justice League's J.K. Simmons), Grace's costumed crime-fighter operates in a grim and gritty Gotham influenced by the '90s Batman: The Animated Series and Tim Burton's Batman movies.  

"I think that we're still going to try to have the same visual vibrancy that is our trademark, you could say, and homages to the comic book, homages also to the animated series of Batman, and the Tim Burton movies," El Arbi said. "So that's what we're trying to do with that, but obviously, it's going to be a bit darker than Ms. Marvel's world." 

After tweeting a first look at her Batgirl costume with a quote from Batgirl: Year One — "I use their expectations against them. That will be their weakness, not mine," reads an excerpt — Grace said Barbara Gordon "becomes her own hero" as she succeeds the veteran Bruce Wayne. 

"[Her origin story] is crazy dark, like a lot of other superheroes, but I like that she becomes Batgirl because she wants to make a difference in the world," the In the Heights star told Elle. "She feels like people underestimate her as Barbara Gordon, and I relate to that. ... It's that energy of being self-determined." 

Grace added: "You can't be afraid to be your own hero, and I think girls need to see that. We all need to see characters that are willing to be autonomous." 

Batgirl stars Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Brendan Frasier as the pyromaniac villain Firely, Ivory Aquino as Alysia Yeoh, and Jacob Scipio (Bad Boys for Life), Rebecca Front (The Thick of It), Corey Johnson (Hellboy), and Ethan Kai (Killing Eve) in undisclosed roles. A release date is TBA.