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Batgirl Movie - What We Know So Far

DC Comics and Warner Bros. have been developing a "Batgirl" movie for what feels like eons in movie news years. Way, way back in 2017, Joss Whedon signed on to write and direct a film starring Batgirl but he left the project in February 2018. At the time, Whedon said, "it took me months to realize I really didn't have a story." But after Whedon also left his HBO show "The Nevers," and more reports of his allegedly abusive behavior on set emerged, many wondered whether the "Batgirl" departure was more complicated than it first appeared. Actor Ray Fisher spoke to The Hollywood Reporter to express frustration with the lack of transparency from Warner Media.

Thankfully, "Batgirl" appears to finally be rising from development hell, as "Bad Boys for Life" directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah recently signed on to direct a standalone "Batgirl" film. "Birds of Prey" writer Christine Hodson penned the script, and Kristin Burr (currently promoting "Cruella") will produce. El Arbi and Fallah's entry in the "Bad Boys" franchise was 2020's highest-grossing film at the domestic box office, according to Box Office Mojo.

Here's what we know so far about the upcoming "Batgirl" movie.

Who is in the cast of Batgirl?

No cast has been announced for "Batgirl." In fact, we don't even know for sure which Batgirl will star in the film. The moniker has been adopted by several women over the years, most famously by Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Jim Gordon's daughter. Barbara served as Batgirl for a decade-plus until she was paralyzed by the Joker in Alan Moore's "The Killing Joke." After that, she became the hacker supreme Oracle. Barbara's paralysis was retconned during 2011's New 52 event. 

The Batgirl cape has been donned by Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, and Helena Bertinelli at various points in DC history. Cassandra and Helena were both seen in 2020's "Birds of Prey," played by Ella Jay Basco and Mary Elizabeth Winstead respectively. Since "Batgirl" is being written by the same woman who penned that film, it's conceivable that other characters from that movie could make cameos — even if Deadline says "Batgirl" will be a standalone film. In the comics, Barbara Gordon led the Birds of Prey from her computer command center, with Black Canary and Huntress working in the field. Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Rosie Perez (who played Renee Montoya) have not been attached to the film, but could very well still appear.

When and where will Batgirl premiere?

No date has been set for the premiere of "Batgirl," but we do know the movie is being slated for HBO Max. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "Batgirl" is slated for a 2022-23 release, along with "Black Adam," the "Shazam!" sequel, and films based on Blue Beetle, Supergirl, the Green Lantern Corps, and Static Shock. Since only behind-the-camera staff have been announced, the film appears to still be in pre-production. The next DC movie that is set to premiere is James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad," which comes out in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6, 2021.

Fans jonesing for some Batgirl can sate themselves with her various other film and TV representations, most of which are available on HBO Max. Batgirl was played by Yvonne Craig in the '60s "Batman" show starring Adam West. She also appears — kinda — in the camp classic (or monstrosity, depending on your taste level) "Batman & Robin." In that movie, she was played by Alicia Silverstone and is Alfred's niece rather than Commissioner Gordon's daughter. Batgirl appears in "Batman: The Animated Series," voiced by Melissa Gilbert. Tara Strong played her in 2016's "Batman: The Killing Joke," but the less said about that movie, the better. Barbara Gordon also makes appearances on "Harley Quinn," voiced by Kaley Cuoco's little sister, Briana.

What is the plot of Batgirl?

Very little is known about the plot of "Batgirl." Deadline reported that the film will not be a part of the larger DCEU. That gives screenwriter Christina Hodson a wide berth for writing what she wants. Hodson did contribute to the DCEU, however, as the screenwriter for "Birds of Prey." That film took a secondary character, Harley Quinn, and made her the center of the action. Batgirl has also usually been seen as a complementary character in the Batfam. She doesn't make sense without Batman. So Babs is perfect for Hodson's main character-creating touch. Her other big flick, "Bumblebee," brought the Transformers universe down to a smaller scale, which could also happen with "Batgirl." Batman's latest foe was a world-ender. "Batgirl" could instead focus on smaller crimes in Gotham City.

The film's producer, Kristin Burr, said "Batgirl" will be much peppier than the usual depictions of Batman's home turf. "With Batgirl, we hope to take the audience on a fun ride and see a different side of Gotham," Burr told The Hollywood Reporter. "Christina's script is crackling with spirit. Adil and Bilall have an excited and joyous energy, which is infectious, making them the perfect filmmakers for this Batproject. And I'm just psyched I get to be part of the DC universe, which is super cool."