The upcoming Batgirl TV series on HBO Max has reportedly found its Commissioner Jim Gordon – and it’s an actor who we’ve seen in the DCEU before.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, J.K. Simmons is set to reprise his role as the Head of Gotham City’s Police Department, who he had previously portrayed in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
THR’s report comes a week after In The Heights star Leslie Grace was selected to play Batgirl – aka Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Commissioner Gordon.
Warner Bros. appears to be moving swiftly to cast the main roles for the show. According to various reports, the studio wants to fast-track the superhero series for its HBO Max streaming platform, with an eye to releasing it sometime in 2022.
Plot details are thin on the ground at present, but we do know who will be involved in the show behind the scenes. Bad Boys for Life filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have been installed as directors, while Christina Hodson (Bumblebee, Birds of Prey) is penning the scripts.
Analysis: will Batgirl be part of Zack Snyder’s DC universe?
Simmons’ rumored return poses an interesting question as to how the Batgirl series will fit into Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe (DCEU).
In bringing the Oscar-winning actor back into the fold, the Batgirl TV show must have ties to the universe that Zack Snyder had built before he parted ways with Warner Bros.
So far, Simmons’ only DCEU appearance came in Zack Snyder’s Justice League adaptation. If Warner Bros. has tapped him to reprise his role as Commissioner Gordon, it would suggest that the studio may continue to expand on the SnyderVerse without the man who created it.
That said, the return of Simmons’ Gordon may be unrelated to his SnyderVerse appearance. Warner Bros. could decide to retcon his bit-part role in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and claim that Simmons’ Gordon has always existed in this Batgirl-centric universe instead.
Alternatively, another Warner Bros. DCEU project – The Flash, which is set to arrive in 2022 – could give the studio an easy way around the inclusion of Simmons’ Gordon in Batgirl.
The Flash movie will be the catalyst for a soft reboot of Warner Bros’ DCEU, which will allow the studio to “restart everything”, according to The Flash producer Barbara Muschietti (per IGN).
Still, that superhero flick isn’t due to launch until November 2022. That would mean that Batgirl would need to launch after The Flash if Warner Bros. wants a cast-iron explanation behind Simmons’ Gordon seemingly crossing over into a separate DC universe.
Hopefully, it won’t be long before we get confirmation about Simmons’ return, but it’ll be a while until we get word on how HBO Max’s Batgirl will fit into the DCEU.