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Leslie Grace Is Already in Talks for ‘Batgirl 2’

Grace discusses working Michael Keaton, J.K. Simmons, and Brendan Fraser.

Leslie Grace as Batgirl in HBO Max's 'Batgirl'.

We’re living in the platinum age of superhero content, where even the most obscure comic book characters are getting their own series and standalone films. So it’s about damn time that Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl gets her due. The long-awaited Batgirl movie hits HBO Max sometime in 2022, starring Leslie Grace (In the Heights) in the titular role. Joining her is J.K. Simmons, reprising his role as Commissioner Gordon (Barbara’s father) from Justice League. Brendan Fraser joins the cast to play pyromaniac villain Firefly. But the most exciting bit of casting is the return of Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, a role he hasn’t reprised since 1992’s Batman Returns. Keaton will also be returning to the role in The Flash, which hits theaters in 2023.

And Keaton’s casting caused not only Grace to nerd out, but the film’s consummate batfan directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life, Ms. Marvel). In an interview with Variety, Grace said “It was wild for everyone. Our directors were like two little kids. They’re legit Batman nerds openly. He’s Batman, man! I couldn’t even believe that I was sharing space with Batman. I want to say more, but I can’t. It was insane, surreal, incredible. It was the stuff of dreams really.”

Grace also discussed her relationship with Simmons, saying “That’s my pop. I was so nervous because all I could hear in my head was his voice in “Whiplash.” Like what would he do and say if I didn’t get something right? [Laughs]. Then we became the best of friends. And just he told me all his great stories of starting out and being a waiter and working in a pizza shop and trying to be an actor and doing theater.”

Grace also shared her feelings on first donning the Batgirl suit, saying “I think that was the first real moment where I was like, “Oh, wow, we’re here. I’m doing this. Like, I am really Batgirl.” It’s still hard for me to say that. But, yeah, it was a surreal experience.” She also touched on the challenges of working in a stunt-heavy film, and the support she got from industry veteran Fraser.

“It was so hard because he’s our villain and I’m not supposed to like him but he’s such a huge teddy bear. He is one of the nicest people that I’ve ever met. In our fight sequences the way he would just hit marks, it came from all of his experience. You can’t improvise that kind of experience. There’s some crazy stuff that happens. There’s lots of fire because as everyone knows by now, he plays Firefly. There’s crazy fire. There’s crazy stunts, crazy drops. She’s a biker chick, so you’re going to see her do a bunch of badassery.”

As for a rumored Batgirl sequel, Grace says “We got to see this first one first. But there’s definitely some talks about what it could be. I’ve seen some of what we’ve shot, obviously in the playback and stuff like that, and it’s insane. We’ve already been talking about where do we take this from here because there’s so much that happens in this film.”

Batgirl premieres on HBO Max in 2022.

(via Variety, image: HBO Max) 

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.