Leslie Grace, Isabela Merced, Zoey Deutch, Haley Lu Richardson

These Four Actors Are the Top Contenders to Play Batgirl on HBO Max

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Warner Bros. and HBO Max are closing in on casting the titular role for their upcoming Batgirl movie. Sources at the studio say that producers have narrowed it down to four up and coming actors for the role: Haley Lu Richardson, Zoey Deutch, Isabela Merced and Leslie Grace. Let’s take a closer look at this talented crew:

Leslie Grace

leslie grace in the heights

(image: HBO Max)

Leslie Grace made a splash this summer as Nina in Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights. A singer and songwriter, Grace has received three Latin Grammy Award nominations, but her inexperience in front of the camera may work against her. However, she more than held her own in In the Heights, and she clearly possesses star quality. She is one of two Latinx actors up for the role.

Isabela Merced

isabela merced let it snow

(image: Netflix)

Isabela Merced has been working steadily since childhood. She made a name for herself as a child actor on Nickelodeon’s 100 Things to Do Before High School, and played Dora in 2019’s live-action Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Merced has appeared in Instant Family and Transformers: The Last Knight, as well as Sicario: Day of the Soldado. She will soon star opposite Jason Momoa in the Netflix film Sweet Girl. Like Grace, Merced is also a singer and songwriter.

Zoey Deutch

zoey deutch set it up

(image: Netflix)

Zoey Deutch has cornered the market on quirky yet relatable characters thanks to roles in Why Him?, The Politician, and Zombieland: Double Tap. The daughter of director Howard Deutch (Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful) and the iconic Lea Thompson (Back to the Future), Deutch has delivered solid turns in the Netflix romcom Set It Up and dark comedy Buffaloed. She’s probably the best known actor on the list.

Haley Lu Richardson

edge of seventeen

(image: STX Entertainment)

Another child actor, Haley Lu Richardson got her start on the Disney Channel series Shake It Up before being cast in ABC Family/Freeform series Ravenswood, a spinoff of Pretty Little Liars. She has since appeared in Split and The Edge of Seventeen, and starred opposite Cole Sprouse in the teen tearjerker Five Feet Apart. Richardson also gave a charismatic performance in HBO Max’s Unpregnant.

Of course, Warner Bros. could cast someone else entirely, but so far these are the actors in top contention. The film, written by Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey, Bumblebee), will be directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life) because I guess no women were available? Regardless, the duo are taking over for Joss Whedon, who left the project in 2018 because he “didn’t have a story.” Since then, Whedon’s standing in Hollywood has tanked thanks to his reportedly terrible behavior on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Justice League.

In the meantime, I’m still pulling for Jodie Foster or Nicole Byer. Give the people what they want!

(via Deadline, image: HBO Max/Netflix/STX Entertainment)

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Chelsea Steiner
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.