The cancellation of Batgirl is bad news, especially for JK Simmons, who is now the most wasted actor in the DCEU. JK Simmons was introduced as the DCEU's own Commissioner James Gordon in 2017's Justice League. However, the part was much smaller than the character probably deserved, as he was only given approximately 90 seconds of screen time. Considering how important the character is to Batman's wider mythos, it's one of the DCEU's fundamental failings of Gordon. However, casting such a recognizable actor in the role seemed to be a promise that he would play a larger role in future DCEU movies.
Simmons was set to finally reprise the role in Batgirl, which was scheduled for a late-2022 release. However, with the shocking news that Warner Bros. had canceled Batgirl, it seems that Simmons' next planned appearance as James Gordon is even more ill-fated than his first. Batgirl was also set to star Leslie Grace in the title role, and feature Michael Keaton as Batman alongside Brendan Fraser as Garfield Lynns (a.k.a. the villain Firefly).
Batgirl's cancellation actually makes JK Simmons' James Gordon a huge waste. The actor's reputation of impressive range and extensive talent speaks for itself, and he commands exactly the sort of presence that would make him a brilliant supporting character for the DCEU's Bat-Family. However, Batgirl no longer being released means that his most notable turn in the role to date will remain unseen, and that's yet another huge missed opportunity for the DCEU.
JK Simmons' Gordon Was The DCEU's Biggest Missed Opportunity
The many mistakes of the DCEU ultimately speak for themselves, but perhaps none of them present a bigger missed opportunity that the franchise's treatment of JK Simmons' Commissioner Gordon. After the character didn't appear at all in Batman v Superman, his appearance in Justice League was so minimal it's barely more than a tease. Though underutilizing the character is arguably a poor choice (specifically where Batman is involved), casting an actor as talented as JK Simmons only to use him in such insultingly sparing fashion is a huge waste.
However, the true extent of that waste only becomes clear when the scrapped projects of the DCEU are examined. First came the cancellation of Ben Affleck's solo Batman movie - which presumably would have had a larger role for Simmons' Gordon - in favor of The Batman, which saw Jeffrey Wright take over the role in a separate continuity. Now, the cancellation of Batgirl sees Simmons once again pushed aside, despite the fact that the actor's gruff (but often subtly comedic) demeanor would be absolutely perfect for the DCEU's version of the Batman ally.
Sadly, it's beginning to seem as though JK Simmons' Commissioner Gordon is not meant to be. With The Flash set to shake up the DCEU's continuity, Ben Affleck's Batman reportedly set to exit the franchise, and Warner Bros. Discovery still offering only cryptic teases as to their intentions for the DCEU's future, it's looking less likely that Simmons will ever be given the chance to fully appear as the DCEU's Commissioner Gordon. It seems as though Batgirl's cancellation could be another DCEU movie mistake: it once again wastes the excellent JK Simmons by cutting his role in the franchise.
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