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HBO Max's 'Batgirl' film will feature 'more daring' Barbara, a cowl & her trademark red hair

By Josh Weiss

Over the summer, DC fans were delighted to learn that Warner Bros.' long-gestating Batgirl project would move forward with In the Heights' breakout star Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon (daughter of Gotham Police Commissioner and close ally to Batman, Jim Gordon).

With the film officially in pre-production under the leadership of Bad Boys for Life and Ms. Marvel directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the studio brought a few light teasers (as well as a piece of first look concept art) to DC FanDome Saturday afternoon. When Grace asked if Barbara will have her trademark red hair in the movie, El Arbi and Fallah responded in the affirmative. They also promised to deliver a full cowl with the costume. "It's not gonna be the design with just the mask on the eyes," El Arbi revealed.

"In this story, she's discovering Batgirl for the first time and so, she's getting to explore a duality she's always had in her personality," explained screenwriter Christina Hodson (writer of Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey and Andy Muschietti's The Flash). "But it's this whole new side of her personality. A slightly kind of more daring, slightly less law-abiding side of her personality that we get to have fun and play with ... Honestly, I just feel like the luckiest writer on Earth."

"She's a girly girl, but she also is so capable of being strong and being determined and kicking butt," added Grace. "She wants to prove herself, but she's also still so sweet. A lot of times we focus on the male superheroes, but it was really exciting to read for a female superhero that has that grit and is very sincere and almost eager to prove herself."

To make sure all the action feels truly genuine, Batgirl's co-directors are putting their star through her paces. "We asked Leslie to train a lot," El Arbi said. "We want the fights to be pretty realistic, so that it feels more raw and more real and more relatable."

"We're trying to get as much learned in my body before we get there," Grace continued. "I'm excited about what that's gonna actually look like once we have a suit and once we're on location, figuring out those fight sequences."

HBO Max has yet to announce a fixed premiere date for the movie, though production is set to ramp up soon.

Check out the DC FanDome live stream below: