Who should play Batgirl for Joss Whedon?
Vote in our poll and share your own picks in the comments
On Thursday, news broke that none other than Joss Whedon will be directing a Batgirl movie for Warner Bros.’ big-screen DC Expanded Universe. It seems like a perfect fit, since Whedon’s work often highlights young, brainy, powerful female protagonists, and the dark-and-grimy DCEU could desperately use some of the fast-moving Whedon wit that helped propel Marvel’s Avengers movies to greatness.
EW has confirmed that this Batgirl will be Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. the daughter of Commissioner Gordon and thus a close ally of Batman. Other characters have held the Batgirl title in the past, from high-flying Stephanie Brown to the mute assassin’s daughter Cassandra Cain, but “Babs” remains the most iconic version of the hero. Although she spent years in a wheelchair as the Oracle after being brutally crippled and tortured by The Joker in the infamous The Killing Joke graphic novel, Barbara has since rebounded into the Batgirl identity, combining book smarts, acrobatic skills, and a touch of Batman influence to forge her own battle against crime and evil.
So that leads to the most important question of all: Who should play Batgirl in the movie? EW, naturally, has some ideas, but we want to hear from you as well. Check out our suggestions and vote in the poll below.
After saving four straight Marvel Netflix shows from boredom, Dawson really deserves her own superhero property. Besides, she was already amazing as the voice of Batgirl in The LEGO Batman Movie, where she brought a mix of warmth, humor, and ass-kicking aplenty. She’s a little bit older than the typical female Whedon protagonist, but that might actually make more sense in the DCEU, where Batman is already several years deep into his war on crime.
We know she’s got the toughness down, since most moviegoers were first introduced to Steinfeld as the plucky protagonist of the Coen brothers’ True Grit remake. With The Edge of Seventeen, she proved she can nail the awkward, angsty young person better than almost anyone going right now. The two of those combined could make a great Batgirl – plus, Steinfeld could even provide her own novelty tie-in pop single.
Mendes’ Veronica has been a highlight of the CW’s Riverdale so far, turning this archetypal bad-girl into a protector to those who can’t stand up for themselves — even her own romantic rival, Betty! Refusing to take crap from anybody, she sure seems like she has the makings of a superhero.
Roden’s six-season run as redheaded brainiac and off-hours monster hunter Lydia on MTV’s Teen Wolf is about as good a run-up for Barbara Gordon as one could ask for.
Speaking of Teen Wolf, Roden’s costar could also make Batgirl her own. As the katana-wielding Kira, Cho demonstrated she has both the acting chops and the lovable dorkiness that could make a great superhero (she’d also be a great pick for Marvel’s Kate Bishop).
Even more than her breakout role as Rue in The Hunger Games, Stenberg’s more recent viral YouTube videos have showcased an encyclopedic cultural knowledge and clever wit that would be perfect for a Whedonesque Batgirl. Plus, when you’ve already seen the worst of the Hunger Games, why would you be scared of The Joker?
The superhero and horror genres have been intermingling a lot lately; just ask FX’s Legion. Since Monroe already mastered balancing teen sex with supernatural horror in It Follows, superhero crime-fighting should be no biggie.
Sure, she’s still occupied as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but if the director of The Avengers can switch teams, we shouldn’t be afraid to dream big. As Skye/Daisy/Quake, Bennet has had to play both hacker and ass-kicking superhero — two essential components of Barbara Gordon.
Shahidi hasn’t had much need for action scenes on Black-ish, but as the wise and regal Zoey Johnson, she’s demonstrated a colorful personality that would fit right in with the more recent interpretation of Barbara Gordon as the hipster “Batgirl of Burnside.” Plus, she’s already been rumored to be gearing up for a college-set Black-ish spinoff. Why not Gotham University?