Filipina-American actress Ivory Aquino will be joining the cast of the upcoming superhero live-action adaptation of Batgirl this 2022. Aquino is taking the spotlight as the first major transgender character to ever appear in a live-adaptation of DC comics.
The upcoming live-action adaptation of Batgirl is based on the DC comics created by writer Gail Simone and artist Ardian Syaf. Aquino will portray Alysia Yeoh, who is a bartender and Barbara Gordon’s best friend. Yeoh first appeared in a 2011 issue of Batgirl (volume 4), where it is also revealed that she is a transgender woman.
DC comics will be releasing a live-action film that will feature an openly trans character as Aquino and Yeoh are both transgender. Aquino will be working alongside the announced cast actors Leslie Grace (as Barbara Gordon/ Batgirl), J.K. Simmons (playing Barbara’s father, Gotham City police commissioner), Brendan Fraser (the villain Firefly), Micheal Keaton (reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman) and Jacob Scipio (in an undisclosed role).
Ivory Aquino has had roles in the Netflix series When They See Us and Tales of the City. Her casting as Alysia Yeoh was first leaked in mid-January after Grace, who has been cast as Batgirl, posted a photo in her Instagram story tagging Aquino that seems to be from the set of the film with a caption that says “Barbara and Alysia.”
Over the past few years, LGBTQ+ representation has been strongly integrated into superhero adaptations, including CW Supergirl TV series character Dreamer (portrayed by Nicole Maines), who is the first trans superhero to appear in a DC TV series. The animated DC series Harley Quinn also had LGBTQ+ representation, finishing the season with Harley falling in love with Poison Ivy. Birds of Prey is also included in the list of DC projects with LGBTQ+ representation, with Renee Montoya (portrayed by Rosie Perez), an openly lesbian police detective.
This shows an embrace to their community and a move towards inclusivity. In 2021, Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series Loki also revealed that the title character is pansexual. Additionally, in the film Eternals, Marvel Cinematic Universe showed its first same-sex couple, represented by Brian Tyree (Phastos) and Haaz Sleiman.
Batgirl is being produced by film producer Kristin Burr, with script by Christina Hodson. The film will be directed by film and television directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys For Life).
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