The Batgirl movie just got its Commissioner Gordon, and he's a familiar face. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons is in talks to return to the role of Jim Gordon, which he previously played in Justice League and reprised in extra material for Zack Snyder's Justice League, for the upcoming HBO Max film.
If continuity holds, this would make Simmons the father of the new big-screen Batgirl, played by In The Heights star Leslie Grace. It would also tie the film to the same universe where Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Aquaman and Justice League took place.
Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life) are directing the film from a script by DC mainstay Christina Hodson, whose other recent credits include Bumblebee, Birds of Prey, and the upcoming Flash film, which also features the return of Ben Affleck as the DCEU version of Bruce Wayne. Batgirl's plot details are still a secret, but the film is expected to hit Warner Bros.' HBO Max streaming service sometime next year.
A Batgirl film has been slowly taking shape for the last four years, after initially surfacing as a proposed project for Joss Whedon in the wake of his contributions to the theatrical cut of Justice League. Whedon eventually backed away from the project, and it bounced around for a while before Hodson began working on a new script, and El Arbi and Fallah signed on to direct after Bad Boys for Life's successful box office run in early 2020. Grace, who was one of the standouts of In The Heights upon its own theatrical/HBO Max dual release earlier this year, was announced as the lead a little more than a week ago.
Now, with Simmons in line to return as Gordon, the film is starting to take an even more intriguing shape. The DC Comics film slate has largely stuck to a standalone approach in the years following Justice League, with movies ostensibly set in the same universe that nevertheless seemed to rarely reference each other, apart from occasional callbacks to Harley Quinn's time in Suicide Squad, for example.
That seems set to change in the coming years, particularly with The Flash's efforts to unite various DC Comics film characters under the umbrella of one multiverse. Affleck, who seemed done with playing Bruce Wayne after backing out of his own Batman solo movie, surprised fans when he signed on to appear in that film, alongside 1989 big-screen Batman Michael Keaton reprising his own Bruce Wayne role for the first time in three decades. Now, the stage seems set for another reunion in Gotham City... if Affleck is willing to make yet another cameo, of course.
Of course, the DC multiverse remains squarely in play: Yet another version of Batman, played by Robert Pattinson, is set to hit theaters next year in The Batman, featuring a different Jim Gordon played by Westworld star Jeffrey Wright.
Batgirl does not yet have a firm release date, but is expected to arrive on HBO Max sometime next year.