We’ve known for a while now that Leslie Grace—who made the transition from pop star to actor with a notable performance in last year’s In The Heights—would be playing Batgirl in a new movie for HBO Max. And now we’ve finally got visual confirmation, as Grace posted a photo of herself in her new costume for the direct-to-streaming film on Instagram this weekend. It’s very purple!
To be fair, Batgirl’s costume has typically operated in those brighter hues—she’s the rare hero to rock the shade, which is usually associated with villains like Lex Luthor, The Joker, or Thanos’ big, weird-chinned face. But in an era where superhero costume design has typically skewed more drab (give or take your Shazams or Spideys here and there), it’s nice to see some bolder tones get their day in the Gotham City moonlight.
Grace accompanied the post with a quote from 2003's Batgirl: Year One, written by Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon, with art from Marcos Martin and Alvaro Lopez. The series recounts Barbara Gordon’s transition from computer-friendly commissioner’s kid to increasingly seasoned crime fighter; the quote presumably suggests what sort of direction the Batgirl film, currently aimed at a loose “2022" release date, will be going for.
Grace will star in the film opposite J.K. Simmons, who had very little to do as Commissioner Jim Gordon in Justice League; that project, like this one, bore many of the fingerprints of dethroned nerd king Joss Whedon, who was originally set to write and direct Batgirl as part of his career-long obsession with small women capable of beating seven kinds of shit out of a variety of opponents.
Whedon got moved off the project, though, as part of Hollywood’s great and ongoing de-Whedoning; it’s now being directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, working from a screenplay by Bird Of Prey screenwriter Christina Hodson. Michael Keaton is reportedly set to reprise his old Batman role for the film (similar, presumably, to what he’s doing in The Flash), while Doom Patrol’s Brendan Fraser is set to play the villainous Firefly.