Zendaya already has some superhero/comic book movie chops having been Peter Parker’s love interest MJ in Spider-Man: Homecoming but more acutely in Spider-Man: Far From Home. But those roles included just tangential interaction with the superhero piece of each film. Latest rumors, speculation, and wishful thinking could see Zendaya actually don a mask and outfit of her own. Recent concept art gives us a glimpse of what Zendaya would look like as Batgirl.
Instagram artist Mizuriau offered a look of Zendaya with the cowl and red hair flowing over the top. The latter is an homage to the original character who used a different hair color as a way to throw others off from her actual identity. The design looks awesome, with a darkness to the character’s demeanor while offering some humanizing elements that we expect from Batgirl.
This Zendaya-as-Batgirl concept would be part of the upcoming Matt Reeves-helmed The Batman universe. That movie has already been filmed and is headed for release in March 2022. Batgirl isn’t included in the credits and doesn’t have a role in the film. This latest fan-hype piece would only be on the idea that the universe expands in upcoming films. That much is a near certainty considering how much early buzz it’s received already.
Reeves’ The Batman is already overflowing with awesome characters and casting, Zendaya dreams aside. Robert Pattinson stars as the titular character in what appears to be a stripped-down version of the character. It’s a younger iteration with the character just beginning to take on the role in Gotham. His fighting style is more forceful and brutal with the Batman apparently holding even more a violent grudge than other versions we’ve seen.
Other characters include Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Paul Dano as The Riddler, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and of course Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. The film, from the early trailer, is a much darker and grittier version of the character and Gotham than we’ve seen in the past. Considering how wide a net they made with the casting into the Batman universe it stands to reason that with a good showing at the box office that we would see further movies and plotlines moving forward.
Subsequent films would almost certainly include casting a Batgirl and, from the art, Zendaya does look every bit the part. Mizuriau says the idea for the casting came to him after he saw the trailer for Dune. In it, Zendaya plays the warrior Chani. Her look in the Dune movie (even with the blue eyes) does seem to have some overlap from the brief glimpses we’ve had at Reeves’ Gotham.
Even if The Batman casting didn’t come to fruition there’s still plenty of Zendaya to catch on the big screen. In addition to the aforementioned Dune, she is set to reprise her role as MJ in an upcoming, but untitled, Spider-Man movie which presumably picks up after the events in Far From Home. We’ve gotten a few brief glimpses of that could unfold in that one and should see the relationship between MJ and Peter continue to grow.
If it’s tough to keep track of every iteration of comic book characters on screen these days, you aren’t the only one. Batgirl, not to be confused with Batwoman, started in the comics as Betty Kane but then was replaced by Barbara Gordon, the commissioner’s daughter. The character, in the comic book pages, has seen a number of different turns and had many different aliases.
There’s quite a bit of overlap between Batgirl and Batwoman, sometimes making them indistinguishable when on screen. The latter can be seen in the Arrowverse’s Batwoman which is entering its second season on the CW. Javicia Leslie is taking over for Ruby Rose as the character and is the first African American to take the role.
Will we see Zendaya as Batgirl? Likely, no. But the excitement in casting rumors (or dreams) like this continue to lend momentum to the comic book freight train we’ve seen over the last couple of decades. With so many characters getting different treatments and living in different universes and timelines there are unlimited ways to take characters and story arcs. Casting news hits the wire almost every day. Zendaya as Batgirl? Maybe, but at least artists can dream.