The Batgirl supporting cast is finally starting to fill out.
EW reports When We Rise‘s Ivory Aquino has joined the HBO Max film as Alysia Yeoh. The character, created by Gail Simone and Ardian Syaf, was introduced in 2011 as Barbara Gordon’s first roommate upon moving away from home. A painter and bartender, Barbara eventually learns Alysia is trans — an element of the character which will continue on into the film with Aquino herself also identifying as trans. Granted, that’s just one aspect of Alysia, whose story continued after Barbara moved out of their apartment and over to Burnside. According to the site, Alysia will be a bartender and Barbara’s best friend in the film. Although, it is unclear if they share an apartment or if she will learn about Barbara’s decision to become a costumed vigilante.
The film stars Leslie Grace as Barbara, an eager Gotham City Police recruit following in her father’s footsteps until fate delivers her a new uniform. J.K. Simmons returns as Police Commissioner Jim Gordon — a role he first played in both versions of Justice League — as does Micheal Keaton as Batman. Brendan Fraser will also star as the villain, which reports indicate will be Firefly. Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, Ethan Kai, and Jacob Scipio are also on board in undisclosed roles.
Besides continuing to normalize trans folks, we hope the addition of Alysia means more of Batgirl’s supporting cast — most of whom were introduced in the last ten years — will turn up in the story.
The movie, which is part of DC Films’ plan to produce content for HBO Max, comes from Ms. Marvel directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson. Of course, it is still possible the film may become a theatrical release. Blue Beetle was also initially developed as a HBO Max original, but recently moved to Warner Bros. Pictures theatrical slate. Consequently, the presumed 2022 release of Batgirl is up for debate.