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Dream Casting: Batgirl

Contributed by
Mar 1, 2018

Dream Casting is an imaginative look at the casting process of potential Hollywood projects based on comics and other media. This isn't just about what is being made; this is about what should be made, and who we think should be the stars.

Just last week, news broke that Joss Whedon has left DC/Warner Bros' planned Batgirl movie, saying that he just didn't have a story he wanted to tell. Reactions to this news were somewhat mixed, since a lot of fans weren't thrilled about him doing it in the first place. Still, it raises the question of what Batgirl will look like now.

I don't have a strong stance about who should write or direct the movie (although if Roxane Gay is offering to write a movie for you, you'd be foolish to say no). What I do have, as usual, is plenty of thoughts about who should be in Batgirl. In addition to Barbara Gordon herself, her friends, and her dad, I've included a couple of other former Batgirls who would make good additions to the cast, plus a few possible villains to choose from. I'm not saying they should all be in the movie, I just wanted to lay out some ideas.

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Emma Roberts as Barbara Gordon

Emma Roberts (American Horror Story) is talented, charismatic, youthful without seeming like a kid, and sometimes she's a redhead. She'd make a great Barbara Gordon.

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Angourie Rice as Stephanie Brown

Angourie Rice (Every Day) will make a perfect fresh-faced Stephanie Brown, whether she's a backup Batgirl or helping out as Spoiler.

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Hayley Kiyoko as Cassandra Cain

Hayley Kiyoko (XOXO) has a great, expressive face, which is important when you have a character who barely talks. Plus, her background in dance will give her a leg up on Cassandra's unique relationship to body language and fighting.

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Bryan Cranston as Jim Gordon

I considered sticking with J.K. Simmons from Justice League, but with so much of the DCEU up in the air and talk of recasting other Batman characters, I decided not to worry about it. Bryan Cranston (The Infiltrator) has already played Commissioner Gordon in animation (in Batman: Year One), but he also looks perfect for the part, so let's make this happen.

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Letitia Wright as Frankie Charles

At first I was thinking Letitia Wright was off-limits for this, because she's already a character in the MCU, but that's a silly way to look at things. The truth is that she was so great in Black Panther, she should get to be in everything. She'll make a great Frankie.

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Dane DeHaan as Ethan Cobblepot

The Penguin's son is a recent addition to the comics, but I like the dramatic possibilities of giving Barbara a love interest who turns out to be a villain in the end. Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) can balance handsome charisma with a strong undercurrent of sliminess.

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David Krumholtz as the Penguin

David Krumholtz (The Deuce) is too young to actually be DeHaan's father, but he's more than capable of playing older, and I think he'd make a great Penguin.

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Dax Shepard as Killer Moth

Killer Moth was Batgirl's first villain, and being a criminal who styles himself after Batman will make him an interesting addition to a Bat-film in which Batman isn't a major character. Dax Shepard (Parenthood) is an underrated actor who'd be imposing behind a mask and would also make a great evil Bruce Wayne-type in a suit.

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Brittany Snow as Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy hasn't been in a movie since the much-maligned Batman and Robin, but she makes a great foil for Batgirl, and Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect) could make her seem a little more like a real person... albeit one who likes plants more than people.

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Also, Alysia Yeoh

I want to be straightforward about this. Alysia Yeoh, Barbara Gordon's close friend and one-time roommate, should absolutely be in a Batgirl movie. Furthermore, she should be played by an Asian American trans woman, reflecting who she is in the comic. However, as a person writing an internet column, I can't hold auditions to see all the Asian American trans women who have talent but can't get roles in Hollywood. Warner Bros, however, can and should. So while I was not able to come up with a working Hollywood actress who is right for the part, I know that the people making the Batgirl movie are more than capable of that, if they care enough to try.

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