Rachel Keller - Legion

Rachel Keller

She may be relatively new on the scene, but Rachel Keller is a movie star waiting to happen. She’s already won over television fans, first playing Simone Gerhardt on Fargo before lending her talents to Legion. It’s the latter that makes her an obvious fit for Barbara Gordon – she’s already played a Marvel superhero on the small screen, so why not a DC superhero on the big screen? In all seriousness, Keller has everything Joss Whedon tends to look for in a leading lady. She can radiate sweetness one moment and shift into total badass mode without missing a beat. She’s emotionally engaging while also being laugh-out-loud funny. She’s a fresh talent, someone in desperate need of a film series to call her own. So why not? (Jacob Hall)

Zoe Kravitz

Zoë Kravitz

We may be at the beginning of seeing what Zoë Kravitz is truly capable of as an actor. The more substantial her part is, the more of an impression she leaves. Admittedly, she hasn’t been given enough to do in a few big studio films, namely the Insurgent movies, but her work in Good Kill and Big Little Lies shows off a promising talent. Good Kill could’ve been a nothing role for her, but she’s memorable and always convincingly empathetic. She only has half the screen time of other actors in Big Little Lies, but she still feels every bit as compelling and real. It’s a very good performance, one that leaves me curious to see what she’ll do next…and that’s the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel, which could be her biggest role in her largest film to date. Maybe that sequel will give her more exposure and an opportunity to do more good work, making her an even more obvious candidate for Batgirl. (Jack Giroux)

Rose Leslie

Rose Leslie

Rose Leslie may not be the first name to come to mind for Barbara Gordon, but as we saw in her performance as the ill-fated Wildling Ygritte on Game of Thrones, the actress excels at portraying a skilled warrior who has a sense of humor. That humor is crucial not only to the role of Batgirl, but for the entire DCEU moving forward – the next wave of films are looking to offset some of that darkness with a bit of a lighter touch, which is what makes Joss Whedon such a great hire to write and direct this movie.

Leslie has built-in geek cred from her time on GoT and the physicality to replicate Batgirl’s high-flying gymnastic abilities on screen. And while I’ve always thought the way an actor captures the essence of a well-known character is more important than any physical resemblance they may share, aesthetic purists would appreciate Leslie’s red hair spilling out from underneath a cowl as Batgirl fights her way across Gotham City. (Ben Pearson)

Jane Levy

Jane Levy

Sometimes, making a casting choice like this comes down to a vibe, and for me, Levy simply fits in the DCEU. Of all the choices we’ve listed here, Levy is the one I can most easily picture sitting at a dinner table opposite J.K. Simmons’ gruff Commissioner Gordon. I also feel like she could hang with Ben Affleck’s Batman if need be, though I’d actually rather see what Batgirl can do on her own instead of having Batman swoop in to complicate things or cameo just to connect the dots between movies.

Personally, I think Jane Levy is the best equipped to handle Whedon’s witty dialogue, and since movies like The Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe have already put her through the physical wringer, we know she has the capacity to pull off the kinds of action sequences Whedon favors (Look at Summer Glau’s fight scenes in Serenity for an example of the kind of martial-arts-fueled action he might have in mind for this character.) Levy has it all: fun delivery, a hard-edge, and a vulnerability she may need to tap into if Whedon decides to explore Batgirl’s PTSD following being shot by the Joker. (Ben Pearson)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

What about Mackenzie Davis’ “San Junipero” costar Gugu Mbatha-Raw? She’s no stranger to playing supporting characters in blockbusters, fantasy epics and fairy tale adaptations since her breakout role in 2013’s Belle, but Mbatha-Raw often outshines many of the leading stars of these films, and deserves a spotlight of her own.

The thing about Mbatha-Raw is that she’s so talented that her characteristics are hard to pin down. A cheery, charismatic Batgirl? See Mbatha-Raw in Black Mirror. A simmering, subdued Barbara Gordon? See Belle. Warner Bros. (and possibly Whedon) could go in any direction for Barbara, and Mbatha-Raw would be capable for any of them. If you’re going to point out to be that J.K. Simons has already been cast as Jim Gordon and can’t possibly have Mbatha-Raw as a daughter, know that Mbatha-Raw is mixed race and anything can happen. Honestly, I just want Mbatha-Raw to be a superhero. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Maika Monroe

Maika Monroe

Maika Monroe is poised to break out in a big way. Someday. The star of The Guest and It Follows has won over genre fans, but mainstream success has eluded here. Let’s be honest: Independence Day: Resurgence didn’t do anyone any favors. Still, her presence in that baffling sequel doesn’t dilute her awesomeness in any way. Make no mistake: Maika Monroe is terrific, and she’s totally comfortable being terrific in outrageous genre fare where she’s tasked with treating ridiculous situations as if they’re the most serious and important business in the world. So put her in a superhero suit and watch her soar. (Jacob Hall)

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