UPDATE: It has been officially confirmed by Deadline that Leslie Grace has been cast in the role of Batgirl. This follows the news of screen tests earlier this week.
Warner Bros. and HBO Max’s upcoming Batgirl film is looking for its Barbara Gordon, and it might just be Leslie Grace.
According to Variety, The In the Heights star is in the running to play the title character. But HBO Max is also looking at Haley Lu Richardson, Isabela Merced, and Zoey Deutch as well. The actors have already started testing for the role.
There’s no word on who HBO Max seems to be leaning toward, but The Wrap states that Grace and Richardson are “emerging as top contenders,” citing a source close to the film. But with that said, it’s still up in the air as to who will don the Batgirl cowl.
Bad Boys for Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will direct Batgirl from a screenplay by Christina Hodson. Hodson’s Batgirl script expands her work with DC; she has also written the screenplays for The Flash and Birds of Prey.
Though In the Heights is currently Grace’s biggest film yet, she garnered a lot of attention prior to the film for her music career. Grace has appeared in several music videos with Meek Mill, K-pop boy group Super Junior, Karol G, Becky G, and others. If Grace lands Batgirl, the role would increase her Hollywood cache as a leading actor. Plus, it would make her an official part of the DC Cinematic Universe.
Grace, an Afro-Latinx actor, recently spoke about In the Heights‘ colorism controversy, addressing The Root writer Felice León’s concerns about the film’s lack of focus on Afro-Latinx actors despite Washington Heights being majority Afro-Latinx.
“I didn’t realize until making this movie that I didn’t really get to see myself or people that looked like my siblings, that are darker than me, onscreen,” she said. “I hope that this is cracking that glass ceiling. Because I do hope to see my brothers and sisters that are darker than me lead these movies.”