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Dream Casting: Batgirl

Contributed by
Jan 22, 2021, 4:50 PM EST (Updated)

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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