Ivory Aquino is coming to HBO Max. The Filipina-American actress has boarded the streamer’s upcoming Batgirl movie in the role of Alysia Yeoh, a transgender bartender, an aspiring chef, and best friend to the titular superhero. Aquino’s role in the HBO Max film was announced in a Deadline exclusive.
Alysia Yeoh was created by writer Gail Simone and artist Ardian Syaf for DC Comics and is often considered iconic in her own right, being one of the first major contemporary trans characters in mainstream comic book history – a fact that has carried over to the movieverse as Yeoh will also be the first trans character in a live-action DC film. At the moment, specifics about the character and the film’s plot are being kept close to the vest as is common with superhero movies these days, but it will follow the adventures of Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl, a vigilante in Gotham City as well as the daughter of Gotham police commissioner James Gordon.
Aquino, who is known for her roles in When We Rise and When They See Us, has an extensive television career, previously appearing in Tales of the City, Blue Bloods, FBI: Most Wanted, High Maintenance, New Amsterdam, and Lingua Franca, among others.
Aquino joins an already impressive cast on the Batgirl movie with In the Heights star Leslie Grace playing Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. Other cast members include J. K. Simmons reprising his role as James Gordon, Brendan Fraser playing the film’s villain and antagonist, and Michael Keaton reprising his iconic role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Rebecca Front, Corey Johnson, Ethan Kai, and Jacob Scipio have also been cast in currently undisclosed roles.
Batgirl will be directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who directed 2015’s Black and 2018’s Gangsta as well as 2020’s Bad Boys For Life. They are also set to direct two episodes for the upcoming Ms. Marvel TV series on Disney+. The upcoming Batgirl film was written by Christina Hodson, with Kristin Burr in the producer’s seat.
Batgirl has had a long path to our screens and has been in production since 2017. However, eager fans can expect the film to debut on HBO Max sometime in 2022. Filming, which is still ongoing, began in November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. For more on Batgirl news, stay tuned to Collider.