J.K. Simmons says that he was "flabbergasted" when Warner Bros. asked him to reprise the role of Commissioner James Gordon in HBO Max's upcoming Batgirl solo movie. Simmons first portrayed the character in 2017 in the theatrical cut of Justice League, which was helmed by Joss Whedon shortly after Zack Snyder's exit from the production. Following the dismal critical and commercial reception toward the film, fans of Snyder's DC films petitioned for the director to return and complete his vision by rallying the viral online movement commonly referred to as #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Warner Bros. finally acquiesced to fans demands last year, giving Snyder the resources to realize his original intent for the film.
Simmons' role in the theatrical cut of Justice League amounts to little more than a cameo, with the police commissioner relaying information to the newly formed Justice League on the rooftop of the Gotham City Police Department building. Although many of his co-stars received significantly modified storylines in Snyder's cut of the film, Gordon's role was mostly left unchanged. Snyder's departure from Warner Bros., as well as the cancellation of Ben Affleck's standalone Batman film (which presumably would've featured Simmons as Gordon), all seemed to indicate that Simmons' time in the DCEU had come to an end. Fortunately, the studio asked Simmons to return to reprise the role of Commissioner Gordon for their upcoming HBO Max's exclusive Batgirl film.
While talking with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Simmons revealed that he "was completely flabbergasted [that the studio] came back to me recently and wanted me to be Commissioner Gordon again [in] a more significant role." Details about the film are still securely under wraps, but the actor shares that "It's a really interesting take on [Batgirl and Commissioner Gordon]." Check out Simmons' full comments below:
I was completely flabbergasted they came back to me recently and wanted me to be Commissioner Gordon again and have it be a more significant role. I'm looking forward to it. I think I'm going to get on the horn to [Leslie Grace] and the directors in the next couple of days and do little preliminary rehearsals. They start very soon and I jump on board sometime in January in Glasgow which is a wonderful place to shoot it as it's Gothic.
I'm excited to be the once and future Jim Gordon. I had a long discussion with the guys about how we want to portray him. It's a really interesting take on introducing Batgirl and fleshing Jim Gordon out.
Warner Bros. has made it clear that they have no further interest in continuing Snyder's multi-movie vision for the DCEU. The studio even allegedly canceled Ava DuVernay's planned New Gods film due to her film's characters overlapping with characters in Zack Snyder's Justice League. However, Simmons' reprisal of the role of Commissioner Gordon shows that Warner Bros. is not completely averse to recycling some aspects of Snyder's films.
While Disney's Marvel films have been lauded for their staunch commitment to canon continuity, Warner Bros.' DC films are quickly carving their own niche with multiple concurrent iterations of the same settings and characters across different projects. Matt Reeves' The Batman is set to release next March with Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon and Robert Pattinson as Batman, but that hasn't deterred the studio from greenlighting Simmons' take on Gordon in Batgirl as well as Michael Keaton's reprisal of the Batman mantle in The Flash. Warner Bros. tried and failed to emulate the success of Disney's MCU films. Now, with hits like Joker and The Suicide Squad under their belt, the studio would be wise to lean into their more eclectic approach to comic book movie storytelling.
Source: Happy Sad Confused
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