J.K. Simmons has teased what fans can expect when he returns to Gotham City as Commissioner Gordon. In an interview with A.frame, Simmons talked about what fans can expect from Gordon in the upcoming Batgirl film.
Simmons previously played the role in 2017’s Justice League. Most of Gordon’s scenes in the film were of him talking to Batman (played by Ben Affleck) and the rest of the Justice League about the kidnappings from Parademons and the damage to the city after the team first fights Steppenwolf (played by Ciarán Hinds). He later appears again at the end of the film to turn on the Bat Signal. In the interview, Simmons compared how Gordon appears in Batgirl to Justice League, especially with Batgirl/Barbara Gordon (played by Leslie Grace) being his daughter. “The tiny role that Commissioner Gordon played in Justice League was very businesslike and very, ‘Let’s see if we can stave off the end of the world!” Simmons said. “What appealed to me about this movie was from Jim Gordon’s point of voice, it’s really more a story about him as a guy and as a father and not just about the guy who’s turning on the Bat Signal and trying to keep the citizens of Gotham safe – although that’s obviously part of the story. But it was a chance to delve into a different aspect of the character.”
Although it hasn’t been explored in a film yet, Gordon’s relationship as Barbara’s father has been seen in other adaptations, including the 1960’s Batman television series and the Batman: The Animated Series. Simmons also hinted at what fans can expect from Grace‘s version of Batgirl. “She was really charming and compelling and charismatic in [In the Heights] – and she brings all of that to Batgirl in addition to pretty kickass stunt skills.”
Although Batgirl does take place in the DC Extended Universe, Simmons was unsure if he would ever play the character again after Justice League. “[It] really came as a complete surprise that they wanted me to be that guy again,” he said. After Justice League, Simmons was going to reprise the role in the solo Batman film, which Affleck was also going to co-write and direct. After Affleck left the film, Matt Reeves took over and rebooted the series with Jeffrey Wright as Gordon. However, Simmons was cast to reprise the role again in July 2021.
Joining Simmons and Grace in the film will be Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne. Keaton reprises the role from Tim Burton‘s 1989 Batman film and its 1992 sequel Batman Returns. He will also play the character in 2023’s The Flash. Also starring in the film will be Brendan Fraser (as Firefly) and Ivory Aquino (as Alysia Yeoh). The film will be directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. The film’s screenplay was written by Christina Hodson, who also wrote the scripts for Birds of Prey and The Flash.
Despite the recent changes in DC‘s upcoming release schedule, Batgirl is still scheduled to premiere this year on HBO Max. In the meantime, fans can currently see Simmons as Gordon in both the theatrical cut and 2021 extended cut of Justice League, which are currently available to stream on HBO Max.