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Meet the new Batgirl: HBO Max solo film casts 'In the Heights' star Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon

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Jul 21, 2021, 4:51 PM EDT

Leslie Grace will be answering the signal shining bright in the foggy Gotham sky. Variety confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the star of In the Heights has officially landed the title role in an upcoming Batgirl movie currently in active development at HBO Max.

The actress reportedly beat out some pretty stiff competition like Zoey Deutch (The Politician), Haley Lu Richardson (Five Feet Apart), and Isabela Merced (Dora and the Lost City of Gold). But hey, if you're going to fight crime alongside the Caped Crusader, you need to be pretty tough!

SYFY WIRE has reached out to Warner Bros. for confirmation on Grace's casting.

Barbara Gordon's very first standalone feature is set to be helmed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the directing duo behind such high-profile projects as Bad Boys for Life and the Ms. Marvel TV series coming to Disney+. Unless things on the writer front have changed, Birds of Prey and The Flash scribe Christina Hodson is still penning the screenplay.

"[Batgirl's] all the things I love about Batman," Hodson said in 2018. "I’ve always been more interested in humans than supernatural things and monsters. People are capable of profound good, but also profound evil. The things that people will do when you back them into a corner are amazing, terrifying, and wonderful at the same time, and it draws out these primal things in us — good and bad. And that, to me, is so fascinating."

A Batgirl movie has been in the works for quite a while, originally gaining traction under Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon. He eventually parted ways with the material in the winter of 2018, citing an inability to come up with a proper story.

Hodson was brought on that spring, but there have been precious few developments until directors were hired this past spring. It's unclear where Batgirl might fit into the larger context of the DC Extended Universe, but Warner Bros. has a lot of leeway, now that it plans to launch its own multiverse of infinite comic book realities next year.

Savannah Welch will play a version of Barbara who serves as commissioner of the Gotham PD in Season 3 of Titans (premiering on HBO Max next month).