6 actresses who should play Batgirl
Posted April 22
GOTHAM — News recently broke that DC and Warner Bros. are working on a stand-alone Batgirl film. This got fans interested, but people became downright elated when they found out the godfather of the superhero movie, Joss Whedon, was tapped to direct it.
Whedon was a Marvel darling after making “The Avengers” and then its sequel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Those two movies grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide. Whedon and Marvel parted ways following “Age of Ultron,” and the once favorite son of Kevin Feige is now headed to DC.
With a big name like Whedon and a fun property like Batgirl, John Clyde and Travis Poppleton had to give their two cents on who should play Barbara Gordon in the new film. Clyde and Poppleton based their picks on the idea that this Batgirl will be based on the New 52 line of comics and would have to be an appropriate age to be Commissioner Gordon’s, J.K. Simmons, daughter.
Here are their picks for who should play Batgirl:
Travis: Robertson may not have the best resume, but she’s one role away from making the world forget that. True, we Brad Bird fans had hoped that role would be “Tomorrowland,” but I think we can all agree Robertson wasn’t one of “Tomorrowland’s” problems.
In the end, I’ve chosen Robertson because she’d fit Whedon’s version of dark. If you look at “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” some of the darker episodes of “Firefly” and even “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (a story that was much darker in the comics), it’s obvious Whedon isn’t looking to recreate Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.”
Normally, I’d say Robertson wasn’t quite ready to play the character who bounces back from “The Killing Joke,” but Whedon’s spin on said backstory is probably within her grasp.
John: I really like Robertson. Ever since I saw her in “Dan in Real Life,” I thought she had a real future in film. But I’m not sure I’m ready to see her as Barbara Gordon. I’m sure she could pull off the role, but she’s not top of my list.
Travis: I think we can all agree it’s time for Plaza to give up the raunchy comedies.
Maybe I’m wrong here, but I think Plaza is better than the projects she’s been taking lately and I think Whedon might be a great transitional director for her. Plaza would deliver on Whedon’s insatiable craving for one-liners, and Whedon would ask Plaza to actually act.
I’m not sure why Plaza went from “Safety Not Guaranteed” to “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” but I believe there is still talent in her, and I think Barabara Gordon might be the character to prove just that.
John: I am a big Aubrey Plaza fan, but at first I thought Travis was crazy for this pick. Then things started to fall into place.
Yes, she played the moody, snarky April on “Parks and Recreation,” but that’s not the kind of person that is right for a superhero. Oh, wait, another “Parks and Rec” goofball is now a bonafide superstar and superhero? Yes, her husband on that show, Chris Pratt, was not the likely candidate to take on “Starlord” in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but he took it on and made it one of the best characters in the Marvel universe. Also, Plaza has been killing it on season one of “Legion” where she plays a dark and brooding villain who happens to get a few jokes in.
The more I think about it the more I really like this pick.
Travis: If you’ve been reading KSL for long or have listened to some of the KSL Popcorn Report podcast episodes I’ve been on, you know I think Lupita Nyong'o should play every character in every movie. So, when the idea of this article came up I thought, could Nyong'o play Barbara Gordon, and the answer obviously was, “Yes, yes, she could.”
I know she’s in cahoots with Marvel at the moment, but Whedon would probably appreciate a fellow turncoat, and having Nyong’o on board would give him the freedom to write scenes that require more than that of the usual superhero material.
John: I really like Nyong’o and I desperately want her to get better and better parts, but I’m not sure this is it.
The woman is incredibly talented, which she has proven with her impressive performances and that fancy piece of hardware that’s sitting on a shelf somewhere in her home (read: An Oscar,) but I’m just not feeling her personality jiving with Whedon’s style. But I have been wrong before.
John: When Travis and I decided to do this article, this is the very first name that popped into my head. Kiersey Clemons isn’t a household name yet, but just wait. This incredibly talented actress stole the show in the Sundance hit “Dope” and I’ve been keeping my eye on her ever since.
The worst part about this is she has recently been cast as Iris West in “The Flash.” I’m not upset that she booked a big show that’s already in the DC Universe, but I am upset that this would keep her from being Batgirl. Let’s just all agree that Clemons needs to drop out of her role in “The Flash” and take on Barbara Gordon, because this is my favorite choice.
Travis: This is like the third casting article I’ve done with John where I shake my head and think, “Dang, I should’ve come up with that.” Maybe I shouldn’t view these lists as a competition, but I do, and this pick is a huge win for Johnny P. Clyde. I do think the one problem with Clemons is her age, but it only takes a couple lines of dialogue to explain anything away, so while I think my overall list is stronger, I probably have to give John the win for my favorite pick of this article.
John: I’m not the biggest fan of “Orphan Black,” but I am a big fan of Tatiana Maslany. I think Maslany has the physicality, humor and acting ability to play Batgirl.
She’s known well enough to get people excited to see her take on a big character like this and she’s under the radar just enough to be a fresh face to a big franchise.
Travis: This seems like another strong pick from Mr. Clyde, though I must admit I’m also not the biggest “Orphan Black” fan, and I’ve never seen “Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed.” That said, I’ve seen a few episodes of “Orphan” and I can see an easy transition from her role(s) there to a compelling Barbara Gordon.
John: Considering some of Travis’ picks, I now think Kaya Scodelario is a bit further down the list here, but I still like what she brings to the table. She’s shown she can hold her own in a fight in the “Maze Runner” films, and she’s about to get all sorts of attention now that she’s in the new Pirates film. But I think Scodelario is ready to stop being the damsel in distress and be the hero. Travis doesn’t love this pick, but I’m sticking with it.
Travis: Here’s where John totally loses me with his list. I don’t doubt Scodelario will become a household name sooner than later and I wish her the best in her career, but every character I’ve seen her play so far has felt more rehearsed than genuine. Even in the latest “Dead Men Tell No Tales” trailers, she comes across as more of an Elizabeth Swann knockoff than a new character who we should actually care about — for the record I sincerely hope she proves me wrong this summer.
Whoever takes on the role of Barbara Gordon will need to bring something truly unique to the character to make her stand out in a sea of other superheroes, and I don’t think Scodelario is quite ready for that.
We can’t comment directly on Morgan, seeing as we have yet to watch an episode of “The 100,” but we will say we’re not surprised Whedon is looking to television for his Barbara. Whedon is a director who has conquered both film and television and seems to enjoy crossing the two mediums. Choosing an actor who wants to both make her motion picture debut while also being someone who would later consider his “Birds of Prey” TV spinoff series — well that seems like a win-win for Mr. Whedon.
John has grown up around movies and annoys friends and family with his movie facts and knowledge. John also has a passion for sports and pretty much anything awesome and it just so happens that these are the three things he writes about.