Batgirl
Official promotional logo
Directed byAdil El Arbi
Bilall Fallah
Screenplay byChristina Hodson
Based on
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyJohn Mathieson
Music byNatalie Holt
Production
companies
Distributed byHBO Max
Release date
  • 2022 (2022)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Batgirl is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics character Barbara Gordon / Batgirl. Produced by DC Films and Burr! Productions for the streaming service HBO Max, it is intended to be an installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The film is being directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah from a screenplay by Christina Hodson, and stars Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon alongside J. K. Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Michael Keaton and Ivory Aquino.

Development of a Batgirl feature film began with Joss Whedon in March 2017, but he left the project a year later. Hodson was hired to write a new script in April 2018, with El Arbi and Fallah hired to direct in May 2021 when the film was confirmed to be an HBO Max original film. Grace was cast that July, and filming began by the end of November in Glasgow, Scotland.

Batgirl is scheduled to be released on HBO Max in 2022.

Cast

Additionally, Jacob Scipio, Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, and Ethan Kai have been cast in undisclosed roles, with Kai being referred to as a "leading" character.[6][7]

Production

Development

In May 2016, the DC Comics character Barbara Gordon / Batgirl had the potential to appear in a female superhero team-up film starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn,[8] which became Birds of Prey (2020). Batgirl was ultimately not included in the film due to the development of a solo film starring the character.[9] Joss Whedon was hired in March 2017 to write, direct, and produce the solo film, which was being overseen by Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich and DC Films chairmen Jon Berg and Geoff Johns.[10] Whedon was to begin production on the film in 2018,[11] but left the project in February 2018 after being unable to come up with a story for it. There was also additional scrutiny on Whedon as a male director of a female-focused film,[12] with Warner Bros. and new DC Films president Walter Hamada planning at that point to replace Whedon with a female filmmaker.[13]

Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson was hired to write a new screenplay for Batgirl in April 2018,[14] and was expected to begin writing the film after completing her work on another DC Extended Universe (DCEU) film, The Flash (2022).[15] In December 2020, Batgirl was listed as a film that could potentially be released exclusively on the streaming service HBO Max, rather than in theaters, as part of Hamada's new plan for the DCEU,[16] and in April 2021 it was included on DC's slate of films that were expected to be released in 2022 or 2023.[17] Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were hired to direct the film a month later, when it was confirmed to be planned as an HBO Max original. Kristin Burr was producing the film by that time, and said the directors were bringing an excited energy that would make the film a "fun ride" and show a different side of Gotham City from previous DC projects.[18]

Pre-production

DC executives began testing actresses for Batgirl in the week of July 19, 2021, with the group reportedly including Isabela Merced, Zoey Deutch, Leslie Grace, and Haley Lu Richardson.[19] Richardson and Grace were considered to be the top contenders,[20] though Richardson may have "bowed out" before the testing began.[19] Grace was cast in the role on July 21.[1] By July 29, J. K. Simmons was in talks to reprise his role as Batgirl's father, Commissioner Gordon, from Justice League (2017) and its 2021 director's cut.[21] El Arbi and Fallah arrived in Glasgow on August 24 to prepare for filming there, which was scheduled to begin in November. They began location scouting with production designer Christopher Glass around the city which was previously used to depict Gotham City in The Flash as well as the DC film The Batman (2022).[22][23]

Simmons was confirmed to be reprising his role in October,[2] when Jacob Scipio and Brendan Fraser also joined the cast,[6] the latter as the villain Firefly. Fraser previously portrayed Robotman in the DC Comics television series Doom Patrol.[3] The villain role was originally offered to Sylvester Stallone, who voiced King Shark in the DCEU film The Suicide Squad (2021), but "things just didn't work out".[24][25] El Arbi and Fallah said Batman would appear in the film but declined to confirm if Ben Affleck would reprise his role from previous DCEU projects.[26] In December, Michael Keaton was revealed to be reprising his role in Batgirl as a different version of Bruce Wayne / Batman from the films Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), which he is set to bring to the DCEU in The Flash.[4] Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, and Ethan Kai also joined the cast during filming.[7] In January 2022, Ivory Aquino joined the cast of the film and she would portray Alysia Yeoh, the first major transgender character in a DC film.[5]

Filming

Principal photography began in Glasgow, doubling for Gotham City, on November 30, 2021,[27] under the working title Cherry Hill.[22][23][28] John Mathieson serves as cinematographer.[29]

Music

Natalie Holt announced in September 2021 that she would be composing the score for the film.[30]

Marketing

El Arbi, Fallah, Hodson, and Grace promoted the film at the virtual DC FanDome event in October 2021, where they discussed their preparation for filming and revealed concept art.[2][31] Grace revealed a first look at herself in costume as Batgirl in January 2022.[32]

Release

Batgirl is scheduled to be released in 2022,[21] on the streaming service HBO Max.[18]

References

  1. ^ a b Couch, Aaron; Kit, Borys (July 21, 2021). "'Batgirl' Casts 'In The Heights' Star Leslie Grace as Superhero". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 21, 2021. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Couch, Aaron (October 16, 2021). "'The Batman' Trailer Closes Out DC FanDome Following Looks at 'The Flash,' 'Aquaman 2'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 16, 2021. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Rubin, Rebecca (October 25, 2021). "Brendan Fraser to Play Villain in 'Batgirl' Movie". Variety. Archived from the original on October 25, 2021. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Kit, Borys; Counch, Aaron (December 22, 2021). "Michael Keaton Joining 'Batgirl'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Grobar, Matt (January 24, 2022). "'Batgirl': Ivory Aquino To Play Alysia Yeoh In HBO Max Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 24, 2022. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (October 18, 2021). "Jacob Scipio To Co-Star Opposite Leslie Grace In Warner Bros. and DC's 'Batgirl'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 18, 2021. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Kit, Borys (January 13, 2022). "HBO Max's 'Batgirl' Movie Adds Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, and Ethan Kai (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 13, 2022. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (May 16, 2016). "Harley Quinn Movie in the Works at Warner Bros. With Margot Robbie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 17, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  9. ^ Brail, Nathaniel (December 9, 2019). "'Birds of Prey' Producer Sue Kroll On Batgirl Appearing In The Film". Heroic Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 6, 2020. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
  10. ^ McNary, Dave (March 30, 2017). "'Batgirl' Movie: Joss Whedon to Direct Standalone Film". Variety. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  11. ^ San Diego Comic Con 2017: Exclusive Access & Interviews – IGN Live. YouTube. July 21, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (February 22, 2018). "Joss Whedon Exits 'Batgirl' Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  13. ^ Sneider, Jeff (February 22, 2018). "Joss Whedon Exits DC's "Batgirl" Movie: "I Really Didn't Have a Story"". The Tracking Board. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
  14. ^ Kit, Borys (April 9, 2018). "'Batgirl' Movie Back On, Now With 'Bumblebee' Writer (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 9, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  15. ^ Brent, Lang; Kroll, Justin (November 26, 2019). "DC Films Plots Future With Superman, Green Lantern and R-Rated Movies". Variety. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  16. ^ Barnes, Brooks (December 27, 2020). "Managing Movie Superheroes Is About to Get a Lot More Complicated". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  17. ^ Couch, Aaron; Kit, Borys (April 1, 2021). "Ava DuVernay's 'New Gods,' James Wan's 'The Trench' DC Movies Not Moving Forward at Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 2, 2021. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  18. ^ a b Kit, Borys (May 19, 2021). "'Bad Boys for Life' Filmmakers to Direct 'Batgirl' Movie for Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 19, 2021. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  19. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (July 19, 2021). "'Batgirl': Talent Lines Up To Test For Barbara Gordon Role". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 19, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  20. ^ Gonzalez, Umberto (July 19, 2021). "'Batgirl': Haley Lu Richardson & Leslie Grace Are Favorites to Star as Barbara Gordon for HBO Max". TheWrap. Archived from the original on July 20, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Kit, Borys; Galuppo, Mia (July 29, 2021). "'Batgirl' Movie: J. K. Simmons in Talks to Return to Batman Universe as Commissioner Gordon (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 29, 2021. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  22. ^ a b Williams, Craig (August 26, 2021). "Glasgow to double up as Gotham City once again for blockbuster movie Batgirl". Glasgow Live. Archived from the original on August 26, 2021. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  23. ^ a b Adams, Sophie (August 26, 2021). "Glasgow set for more Hollywood filming as preparation begins for DC's Batgirl". Glasgow Times. Archived from the original on August 26, 2021. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  24. ^ Kit, Borys [@Borys_Kit] (October 25, 2021). "Sylvester Stallone first had the offer for the part but things just didn't work out. Another key role in Batgirl: the son of the gangster/villain, who becomes romantically linked to...well, you can take it from there" (Tweet). Archived from the original on October 28, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2021 – via Twitter.
  25. ^ Peters, Jay (March 26, 2021). "The Suicide Squad's first trailer steals all the color from the Snyder Cut". The Verge. Archived from the original on March 27, 2021. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  26. ^ Van Gils, Lieven (October 14, 2021). "Adil El Arbi en Bilall Fallah verklappen op Film Fest Gent: "Zo zal onze Batgirl eruitzien"". VRT NWS. Archived from the original on October 15, 2021. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  27. ^ Treese, Tyler (November 30, 2021). "Batgirl Set Photo Reveals HBO Max Film Has Begun Shooting". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  28. ^ "Production Weekly – Issue 1269 – Thursday, October 21, 2021 / 116 Listings – 25 Pages". Production Weekly. October 20, 2021. Archived from the original on October 20, 2021. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  29. ^ Anderson, Jenna (November 15, 2021). "Batgirl Lands Doctor Strange 2, Logan Cinematographer John Mathieson". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  30. ^ Oddo, Marco Vito (September 23, 2021). "'Loki' Composer Natalie Holt Will Score 'Batgirl' Film for HBO Max". Collider. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  31. ^ Fleming, Ryan (October 16, 2021). "'Batgirl': DC Gives First Look At Concept Art For The Live-Action HBO Max Film". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 16, 2021. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
  32. ^ Haring, Bruce (January 15, 2022). "Leslie Grace Gives First Look At Her 'Batgirl' Costume For Upcoming HBO Max Film". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 15, 2022. Retrieved January 15, 2022.