While there is still some uncertainty in the DC Extended Universe about which characters will be, well, extended into the future, some other parts are rounding into shape with familiar faces staying in the fold. Though not a major part of his first time in the universe, it looks like J.K. Simmons is returning to the franchise. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Simmons will be reprising his role as Commissioner Jim Gordon in the upcoming Batgirl movie. He’s sure to have a bigger part this time around.
This latest J.K. Simmons has some much-needed continuity for the DC Extended Universe, something that is sorely needed especially with the storylines in a relative state of transition right now. While his role in Zack Snyders Justice League was marginal, it is sure to be expanded in this next story. That’s because the Batgirl movie will focus on the Barbara Gordon version of the character. She is the daughter of Commissioner Gordon who becomes a crimefighting vigilante under a similar moniker to the original Batman character. Barbara Gordon has had a number of different iterations on the comic book pages, but the family piece is a consistent through-line.
While details on Batgirl are relatively thin right now, based on the familial relationship between Barbara and Jim, it stands to reason that J.K. Simmons has a major part here. Whether he knows that Barbara is actually Batgirl remains to be seen. There have been different versions in the source material that have him unaware, but others in which he’s fully caught up on his daughter’s crime-fighting ways.
Because this is an updated version of the Batgirl character, we are likely to see her along the lines of the Oracle version from the comic books. This is a far cry from Barbara Gordon’s early librarian days. Instead, now she’s a computer genius who can kick ass but also helps Batman and others along the way from a technical point of view. It stands to reason that J.K. Simmons as Gordon is aware of at least this aspect, especially with his knowledge of Batman in this universe.
Batgirl will be played by Leslie Grace who beat out a number of other contenders for the role. How they establish the family pattern with J.K. Simmons remains to be seen, but she will be a welcome addition to the universe. Batgirl will almost assuredly add other elements of the pre-existing Snyderverse group of characters to maintain at least some continuity.
J.K. Simmons is coming off another fatherly role in The Tomorrow War in which he played the buff, freedom-fighting libertarian absentee dad of Chris Pratt’s character. While absent most of the film, he had a big part in how the movie wrapped up and will no doubt be part of the already-announced sequel. And the guy remains one of the busier dudes around with a number of other projects coming out in the next few years. He’ll reprise his J. Jonah Jameson role in Spider-Man: No Way Home and is also starring in the television series Lightyears among other things. He can add the DC Extended Universe to the resume again as well.