Batgirl movie casts Leslie Grace in the title role

Leslie Grace starred as Nina Rosario in the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical In the Heights

Batgirl movie casts Leslie Grace in the title role 16
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Leslie Grace, the breakout star of Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights, will play the titular character in the upcoming HBO Max movie Batgirl.

Aside from Grace, other actresses that were also considered for the role were Zoey Deutch (Set It Up), Isabela Merced (Transformers: The Last Knight), and Haley Lu Richardson (Five Feet Apart).

First announced in 2017, Batgirl was supposed to be written, directed, and produced by Joss Whedon as part of the DC Extended Universe. Whedon, however, walked away from the project in April 2018. Two months after that, Warner Bros. Pictures hired Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson to pen the script. Fast forward to May 2021, the studio recruited Ms. Marvel and Bad Boys for Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah to co-helm the movie.

Created by William Dozier, Julius Schwartz, Gardner Fox, and Carmine Infantino, Batgirl made her debut in the Batman mythos as Barbara Gordon in 1967’s Detective Comics #359. Barbara is the young daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, who moonlighted as a vigilante while working as the head of the Gotham City Public Library.

After Barbara was paralyzed during the events of 1988’s Batman: The Killing Joke, other vigilantes like The Huntress and Orphan took up the Batgirl mantle while Barbara pivoted to operating as the hacker and computer expert Oracle. In the 2011 New 52 relaunch, Barbara recovered from her paralysis after undergoing surgery and has operated as both Batgirl and Oracle.

Grace isn’t the first actress to portray Barbara Gordon in live-action. The superheroine has been played by Yvonne Craig in the 1960s Batman series, Dina Meyer in the short-lived The WB Birds of Prey series, Jete Laurence on Fox’s Gotham, and Savannah Welch on the DC Universe/HBO Max series Titans. Alicia Silverstone also portrayed a version of the character in the 1997 movie Batman & Robin.

Born to Dominican parents in the Bronx, Grace is also a Latin Grammy-nominated singer, whose discography includes Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Be My Baby and Day 1. Grace is the third Latina to be cast in a DC superhero project, following Sasha Calle as Supergirl in The Flash and Rachel Zegler as one of the daughters of Atlas in Shazam: Fury of the Gods.

Batgirl doesn’t have an exact release date yet but is scheduled for Warner Bros. Pictures 2022–2023 slate.

Sources: ComicBook.com, The Wrap