In superhero films, we tend to see an actor or actress cast as a certain character to be “locked” to that role, but that has never been ironclad. Take Chris Evans, introduced in the genre as the goofball Johnny Storm/Human Torch in 20th Century Fox’s “Fantastic Four” (2005), only to break out as Captain America in the MCU. Next we have JK Simmons, iconic for playing J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy for Sony-Columbia, the reprising as an alternate version for the MCU. Before that, he played Commissioner Gordon in Warner-DC’s “Justice League” (2017). And now he is coming back as the top cop of Gotham for “Batgirl.”
Deadline has it that Warner Bros. Pictures is in talks with JK Simmons to join the cast of their upcoming HBO Max movie exclusive “Batgirl,” as Commissioner Jim Gordon of the Gotham Police. His is definitely a key role for the movie considering his character is the father of the main character, to be portrayed by Leslie Grace. The actress herself was confirmed to star just last week, in what could be her next big gig after Warner’s cinematic adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights,” which premiered last month.
The “Batgirl” project will likely see Simmons carrying the Commissioner Gordon role for a good majority of the narrative, not like the one-scene cameo he got from “Justice League” (original and Snyder cuts). Gordon after all has been the archetypal friend on the force, the highest police authority to provide information and assistance to Batman in his crusade against Gotham City crime. And the dynamics of his relationship with daughter Barbara, who secretly joins Batman as Batgirl or Oracle (depending on comics continuity) is one of the major potential problem flashpoints in a “Bat-Family” adventure.
While appearing briefly in “Justice League,” JK Simmons was brought into the project by original director Zack Snyder, with a provision to reprise the Commissioner Gordon role in at least two more films within the DCEU franchise. Elsewhere, he portrayed the father of Chris Pratt’s lead character in Amazon Studios’ original film “The Tomorrow War,” and might possibly return as J. Jonah Jameson in the MCU’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
Warner-DC’s “Batgirl” on HBO Max will be co-directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, with Kristin Burr producing from a screenplay by Christina Hodson (2020’s “Birds of Prey” and “The Flash on The CW).
Image courtesy of IGN