Batgirl’s Barbara Gordon just officially got a best friend. Deadline reports that Ivory Aquino will play bartender Alysia Yeoh, who will be the first trans character in a DC Films production.
Alysia was created by writer Gail Simone in 2011, and appeared in the first issue of the relaunched Batgirl. She and Barbara are roommates, and in issue #19, Barbara shares a few of her secrets with Alysia—who tells her friend that she’s trans. Their friendship continues through dozens of issues, and Barbara is the maid of honor at Alysia’s wedding.
Aquino’s casting has been rumored since Batgirl herself, Leslie Grace, posted an Instagram story of herself and Aquino, captioned “Barbara and Alysia.” She is the first trans actress to play a major role in a DC Comics film, though on the small screen, Nicole Maines played trans superhero Dreamer for several seasons of Supergirl. Aquino is best known on screen for playing activist Cecilia Chung in the ABC miniseries When We Rise (pictured above).
Little is known about the plot of Batgirl, which is directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life) and written by Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey). Leslie Grace stars as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl; J.K. Simmons is her father, police commissioner Jim Gordon; Brendan Fraser is the villain Firefly;, Michael Keaton returns to the batsuit as Batman; and Jacob Scipio was recently cast in an unknown role.
The film is expected to premiere on HBO Max, though another DC film that was originally straight to streaming, 2023’s Blue Beetle, is now getting a theatrical release. So anything could happen.