A potential casting shortlist for the DCEU's Batgirl has emerged online, possibly revealing the direction Warner Bros. and Joss Whedon are taking with the character in her first solo live-action film. Today we want to look at what the shortlist is, the other details revealed and analyze the rumor's veracity.
Joss Whedon's film was first announced back in March and while no official release date has been set yet, has been at the forefront of rumor and speculation for the DCEU after the currently slated set of releases. Of course, the film is surely taking a backseat given that the director is now hard at work on reshoots for Justice League after replacing Zack Snyder on the project following tragic personal issues. But are Warner Bros. still wanting to get the ball rolling soon? A new rumor suggests so.
A shortlist for the role of Barbara Gordon has been doing the rounds, originating from a reddit post on /r/DCEULeaks, alleging that Katherine Langford is the favorite to take the role, with Elle Fanning, Jane Levy and Margaret Qualley seconds. According to the poster, the information comes from an acquaintance approached about working on the film's art book. They go on to state that Warner Bros. are hoping to finalize details for a surprise announcement at San Diego Comic-Con in a couple of weeks. The full shortlist is below.
- Elle Fanning (Neon Demon/Live By Night)
- Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel)
- Bella Thorne (Shake It Up!)
- Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why)
- Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers)
- Jane Levy (Don't Breathe)
- Emma Roberts (Scream Queens)
- Haley Lu Richardson (Split/Edge Of Seventeen)
- Naomi Scott (Power Rangers)
Based on this selection, it would appear that WB are aiming for a young, on-the-rise actress; the most high-profile name on the list is Elle Fanning, while the others tend to have focused breakout roles to the name. This chimes with what Whedon's said previously about going for an unknown and would point towards a younger Batgirl, fresher on the scene. How this would fit into the DCEU at present is unclear; as we're now established with an older Batman, he's either started working with Commissioner Gordon's daughter in more recent times (which would contradict how violent and reclusive he's got in Dawn of Justice) or starts working with her post-League. Either way, Barbara can't be too weathered if they want to have her become injured and take on the Oracle persona.
What the list also suggests is that Batgirl is coming together apace, with Warners eyeing it up as part of their next "phase" of films. Indeed, presuming Whedon were to move onto it following Justice League's November 2017 release, it's conceivable that Batgirl can make a 2019 release comfortably. This too has already been suggested, with it and Justice League Dark reportedly eyed to shoot next after the currently in-production Aquaman. As for the SDCC side of the rumor, Whedon won't be at the convention due to his JL commitments, so a casting announcement would be a good way to ensure the project still has a major presence.
Now, with that said, it's worth assessing the veracity of the rumor - something that's shaky at best. DCEULeaks can hold strong information but by nature of being a subreddit is also full of fan-fiction presented as fact. This is certainly on the more believable side of the spectrum but must still be taken with a major pinch of salt. These names are, after all, some of the most prominent up-and-coming actresses around, so wouldn't be hard to construct (Levy has even been linked to the role separately recently), and includes some strange choices - Bella Thorne in particular. Also, with WB's desire to get the project moving well known, then an SDCC announcement isn't a too out-there a guess.
We'll find out if there's any weight to all this in a couple of weeks when DC hosts its SDCC panel.
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018