HBO Max's Batgirl Movie Has Cast Ivory Aquino As Alysia Yeoh

In an exclusive newsbreak, Deadline has announced that the upcoming "Batgirl" movie has added Ivory Aquino ("When We Rise," "Lingua Franca") to the cast, and those who speculated the character calling for "Alanna" was actually for the comic book character Alysia Yeoh have been proven correct. Aquino joins the cast which includes Leslie Grace ("In the Heights"), J.K. Simmons ("Spider-Man: No Way Home"), Brendan Fraser ("The Mummy"), Michael Keaton ("Batman"), and Jacob Scipio ("Bad Boys for Life"). Aquino is playing Barbara Gordon's best friend, Alysia Yeoh, with the film based on the "Batgirl" DC comics from writer Gail Simone and artist Ardian Syaf.

In the comics, Alysia Yeoh is Barbara's roommate but later dates her brother, James Gordon Jr., before coming out as transgender. Alysia is a gifted painter and spends her evenings as a bartender, but dreams of one day becoming a professional chef. The first-ever trans character in the universe of Gotham comics, Gail Simone has publicly noted that Yeoh is so much of a fan-favorite character, she was brought back due to popular demand after having previously exited the story.

Fans had been speculating for months regarding Yeoh's inclusion in the film after a casting announcement was posted for an "Untitled Warner Bros. Action Film" directed by "Batgirl" director Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, looking for an Asian American transgender woman. The casting call was also looking for a young version of the same character, leading us to believe that the "Batgirl" movie may include flashbacks or a look at Alysia in her younger years.

Who is Ivory Aquino?

Aquino is a transgender Filipina-American actress, known by most for her role as transgender activist Cecilia Chung in the 2017 miniseries "When We Rise." At the time of her audition, Aquino had mostly been playing cisgender roles, like Juliet in The Drilling Company's Bryant Park Presents production of "Romeo and Juliet" in New York City. She also played other Shakespearean greats like Desdemona in "Othello," and Isabella from "Measure for Measure." It wasn't until she was cast in "When We Rise" that she finally came out publicly, doing so in a 2017 press conference for the series.

"Batgirl" is on track to be the first DC film in the altered continuity of the DC Extended Universe following the events of "The Flash" movie. The film is still currently set to debut as an exclusive for HBO Max, but fans are still hoping that the film goes the way of the "Blue Beetle" and pivots to a theatrical release instead.