Leslie Grace of ‘In the Heights’ To Be New Batgirl

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Photo courtesy of comicbook.com

Who would’ve thought a Latina would reinterpret the role once played by Yvonne Craig on the big screen?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Leslie Grace, the breakout actress of ‘In the Heights,’ has been signed by HBO Max to play Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl.

Grace is the third Latina actress signed by the DC Universe, joining Sasha Calle (Supergirl on The Flash) and Rachel Zegler (Shazam! Rage of the Gods).

Although it has no release date, Batgirl will be directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, directors of Bad Boys, from a script by Christina Hodson. Production will be in the hands of Kristin Burr.

DC Comics introduced batgirl in 1961 as the female counterpart to the superhero Batman. She was replaced by Barbara Gordon in 1967, introduced as the daughter of police commissioner James Gordon. The character debuted in Detective Comics #359 by screenwriter Gardner Fox and cartoonist Carmine Infantino.

Batgirl operates in Gotham City, allying with Batman and the original Robin, Dick Grayson, and other masked vigilantes. The character appeared regularly in Detective Comics, Batman Family, and other DC-produced books until 1988. That year, Barbara Gordon appeared in Barbara Kesel’s Batgirl Special #1, in which she retires from crime-fighting. She later appeared in Alan Moore’s graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke, where, in her civilian identity, she is shot by the Joker and becomes a paraplegic.

On the small and big screen, and since Batman, the character of Barbara Gordon has made several appearances since 1968.

Barbara Gordon makes two appearances in the first season of the animated series Young Justice. She is a recurring character in the second season, where she has adopted her Batgirl persona. Dina Meyer played Barbara Gordon in the television series Birds of Prey (2002). Although this series focused on her role as Oracle, the series included flashbacks to the character’s history as Batgirl.

In the film Batman & Robin, Alicia Silverstone played a variation of the character: Barbara Wilson, Alfred Pennyworth’s niece. In The Lego Batman Movie, she appears voiced by Rosario Dawson. The character is introduced as Barbara Gordon, who takes over from her father Jim Gordon to become Gotham’s new police commissioner. Towards the end of the film, she dons the cowl and joins Batman as Batgirl, in addition to her role as the commissioner.

The Batgirl movie has been in development for several years, with Joss Whedon signing a deal to write and direct in 2017, then dropping out a year later.