Thursday, October 6, 2022

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Ivory Aquino Joins Batgirl as First Trans Character in a DC Comics Movie

HBO Max’s Batgirl has just nailed down another casting of a major role. Per Variety, Ivory Aquino (Tales of the City, When We Rise) has signed on to play Alysia Yeoh, the best friend and roommate of Barbara Gordon (Leslie Grace). While there had been word of Aquino’s casting leaking earlier this month thanks to a set photo, the news has now been confirmed.

Aquino and Yeoh are both transgender, and this means that Batgirl marks the first time in a live-action feature film based on a DC Comics title features an openly trans character. On the printed page, Alysia first started appearing in DC Comics’ Batgirl in 2011 from writer Gail Simone and penciler Ardian Syaf.


Batgirl is pretty far into production at this point, and several other major cast members had already been revealed. That obviously includes Leslie Grace in the lead role while J. K. Simmons reprises his role as Commissioner James Gordon, who’s also Barbara’s father as DC Comics readers will know. Brendan Fraser will also be starring as the supervillain Firefly and Michael Keaton will appear as Batman after first making his debut in The Flash. Jacob Scipio is featured in an undisclosed role.

Related: Batgirl Set Videos Show Leslie Grace’s Heroine in the Thick of the Action

Batgirl Wants to Make a Name for Herself in the HBO Max Film

Warner Bros. Pictures/HBO Max

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life) are directing Batgirl. While Keaton’s Batman does appear in the movie, it seems that his involvement will be fairly minimal with Batgirl taking center stage for the film. As a budding heroine, Leslie Grace’s Barbara Gordon is someone who feels underestimated by everyone she knows, and Grace has teased how the character is looking to test herself in the film.

“She’s someone who’s been underestimated by even her own dad and being the youngest kid, sometimes you’re insulated from all of the tough stuff of life and she’s so eager to prove to herself and to everybody else that there’s some things that she can handle,” Grace said, per ET. “So, this journey is definitely going to show me a lot of that. I feel like I’m on an endless journey of proving to myself what barriers I can break, what limits I can break for myself and I’m excited to put a little bit of that eagerness and drive and, like, almost a bit of stubbornness into Barbara’s character.”

Further describing her incarnation of Batgirl, Grace added: “Determined, capable and I’m going to give you a hyphenate. Or a compound word? Purpose-driven. Maybe not a compound word — I don’t know grammar — but you know what I’m saying!”

Batgirl does not yet have an official premiere date, but the movie is expected to start streaming exclusively on HBO Max sometime this year. The film is one of many projects in development at the streamer to further explore the DCEU. Whether or not Grace’s Batgirl gets her own sequel or goes on to appear in other projects remains to be seen.

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