DC’s Batgirl movie will reportedly be released straight to HBO Max. There have been talks of a Batgirl movie from Warner Bros. for years now with various writers and directors attached. The most notable being Joss Whedon who exited the project in 2018, paving the way for Birds of Prey writer, Christina Hodson, to pen the script. Today, it was announced that Bad Boys for Life directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, will helm the project and Cruella’s Kristin Burr will produce.
Though DC’s comics originally introduced Batgirl as the alter alias of Betty Kane in 1961, the character was later reintroduced in the Adam West Batman series as Barbara (Yvonne Craig), the daughter of Gotham City Commissioner, Jim Gordon. Though the character has not appeared in a live-action movie since she was portrayed by Alicia Silverstone in Joel Schumacher’s notorious Batman & Robin, Batgirl has remained a fan-favorite character. While she will finally be getting a solo outing, it does not sound like it will be playing in theaters.
According to THR, DC’s Batgirl movie is “being planned as a movie for HBO Max.” Though the report does not offer any more details than that, it certainly sounds like Batgirl is being developed as an HBO Max original film, which there have only been a few of since the streaming service’s launch a year ago, with Seth Rogen's An American Pickle being the first and the COVID-themed movie, Locked Down, to follow.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League was undoubtedly HBO Max’s biggest release, and perhaps Warner Bros. is looking to build off its success with more original films made exclusively for the streaming platform. While Wonder Woman 1984 was the first DC film to premiere simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters as part of Warner Bros. overall release strategy for 2021, James Gunn’s Suicide Squad will be next. But DC has not yet made a film exclusively for HBO Max outside of the Snyder Cut.
The film’s producer, Kristin Burr, referenced Batgirl as being “part of the DC universe,” though it is currently unclear if Batgirl will be set in the DC Extended Universe, the DCEU’s Earth-2 such as Matt Reeves’ Batman, or stand completely on its own. While some will likely be disappointed Batgirl will not be getting a theatrical release, DC is still offering plenty to get excited for.
While some characters like Superman and Aquaman have breezed into the DC Extended Universe without issue, Batgirl’s journey to the big screen has been a little more treacherous. A solo movie was in the works from the controversial Joss Whedon, but he eventually dropped out and Warner Bros. has yet to replace him.
It was recently announced that Ben Affleck’s Batman solo movie would’ve introduced Batgirl, but that project is also dead in the water. Barbara Gordon is a great character and somebody will eventually do her justice on-screen. These actors and filmmakers could be the ones to do it.
Jane Levy became a household name with the lead role in Suburgatory, then significantly expanded the scope of her career by leaving lighthearted sitcom territory behind and becoming a prominent scream queen in Fede Álvarez’s Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe. Currently, she's the star of the popular musical dramedy series Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.
Levy has proven she can be a straightforward, compelling lead and carry a story on her shoulders, but she’s also demonstrated a little-seen dark side that could add more complexity to Barbara.
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