Brendan Fraser cast as villain in HBO Max Batgirl

Brendan Fraser has been officially cast to play the main villain in the upcoming HBO Max exclusive Batgirl film starring Leslie Grace.

Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, Doom Patrol) has reportedly been cast to play a villain role in the HBO Max exclusive film Batgirl. Fraser will be joining the previously confirmed stars, Leslie Grace (Barbara Gordon/Batgirl) and J.K. Simmons (Commissioner James Gordon).

Brendan Fraser is reportedly cast as the super-villain Firefly for HBO Max's Batgirl film. (Images: DC Entertainment/Warner Bros.)

Which super-villain from the DC Universe will the popular actor be portraying? Check out the details revealed below so far about Brendan Fraser’s casting for the Batgirl film.

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Batgirl for HBO Max and Brendan Fraser’s role

As reported in July, the planned theatrical Warner Bros. DCEU Batgirl movie has since been changed to an HBO Max Original film. It will be one of the first major DC Entertainment film projects for the streaming service, to be directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Badboys For Life) with a script from Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey, The Flash).

The first major casting was for the title role, which went to actress Leslie Grace. Fresh off of her critical success in the movie In The Heights, Grace beat out several other actresses for the coveted role of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl.

Later, another key casting development was J.K. Simmons for the role of Barbara’s father and Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon. Simmons had already played the role in Justice League, though it is unconfirmed if it is the same Jim Gordon or a different version in the DCEU multiverse.

Garfield Lynns/Firefly was created by Ed Herron and Dick Sprang in Detective Comics Vol. 1 #184 (art: Win Mortimer)

Casting Brendan Fraser will make this the third major role cast for the movie. Deadline broke the news of the casting, while Entertainment Weekly has reported which villain the actor will be playing. In this case, it will be the arsonist and pyromaniac Firefly.

Firefly is a long-time member of the Batman Rogues Gallery, debuting in Detective Comics #184 (June 1952). In the original incarnation, he was Garfield Lynns. A disgruntled expert in movie special effects, he became Firefly after an attempted robbery using a fake fire in a movie theater was foiled by Batman and Robin.

Although the villain used only illusions and special effects in his original version, the character would later be revised into a sociopath with a penchant for pyromania. Firefly uses not just flamethrowers, but also explosives, pyrotechnics, and other incendiary chemicals and devices in his modus operandi. He would also wear a suit that is both bullet and fireproof. A jetpack was added to his ensemble to complete the Firefly connection.

Firefly has appeared in other media, such as animated series and even in live action. One live action version of the Garfield Lynns Firefly appeared in the CW’s Arrow TV series (played by Andrew Dunbar). A different, female version named Bridgit Pike (played by Michelle Veintimilla) was used in the Gotham TV series on the Fox Network. This latter version has since been adapted for the comic books as well.

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With Fraser cast in the role, it is likely that he will play a version of the Garfield Lynns character.

But isn’t he on Doom Patrol?

This is, of course, not the first DCEU role Brendan Fraser has played. The actor has been essaying the two sides of the ex-race car driver turned metallic man with a heart of gold as Doom Patrol’s Cliff Steele, aka Robotman.

Brendan Fraser's Cliff Steele/Robotman is a fan-favorite on Doom Patrol, along with Crazy Jane (Diana Guerrero).

Fraser’s depiction on the Doom Patrol series of the former NASCAR champion Cliff Steele has been highly praised. The actor brought a much needed verisimilitude to the role of a man who lost everything and whose brain is then implanted in the body of a super-strong robot after a fatal accident. Fraser provides voice work for the portrayal of Robotman, although the actor also appears live in flashbacks and when plot devices occur, such as the mental image inside the Underground of Crazy Jane’s (Diane Guerrero) personalities.

Fraser’s signature goofiness, charm, and sense of humor made him a fan favorite. But he has also portrayed the struggle of Cliff Steele to maintain his humanity and connect with his estranged daughter, while serving as the heart and soul of the ragtag group of superhumans. Doom Patrol has been recently confirmed to be renewed for a fourth season.

The actor has been on a bit of a comeback after a long period out of the limelight. Fraser had been one of the Hollywood A-listers of the early 1990s to the late 2000s, starring as the lead in such films as Encino Man, Airheads, George of the Jungle, Blast from the Past, and The Mummy trilogy.

Aside from Batgirl and Doom Patrol, Fraser will also soon be working with director Martin Scorsese and starring with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in Killers of the Flower Moon. He will also be in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale movie in the title role, as well as the comedy Brothers with Josh Brolin and Peter Dinklage.

The Batgirl HBO Max Original movie is targeted for a 2022 release date exclusively on the streaming platform.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.