No More Redheads: Leslie Grace Selected to Play Batgirl for HBO Max


From Spider-Man’s Mary Jane, to DC Comics’ Starfire, to Superman’s Jimmy Olsen, to Disney’s Little Mermaid, there seems to be a trend where Hollywood producers are not only replacing traditionally red-headed characters, but often times replacing them with people of color. That trend continues with yesterday’s announcement that  Warner Bros. had found their Batgirl.



After testing actresses this week, Warner Bros And DC Films looks to have found their Batgirl. Sources tell Deadline Leslie Grace has been tapped to play Barbara Gordon in the studios’ Batgirl. This continues a long going trend of films replacing classically red-headed characters with actors who look nothing like them. As expected, the studio had no comment.



Now even Red Sonja has been recast as a short, ethnic, brunette. Many other news and commentary sites have noticed this trend of wiping out red-heads, but the pattern has been happening for nearly the last decade. However those outlets typically report on it as a “good thing” and pro-diversity, or just make a parody of it because they are ecstatic about it, but most people who are fans of the original characters, or red-heads themselves, aren’t thrilled with the changes. Are redheads now a marginalized minority in Hollywood?


The Batgirl film will bow on HBO Max, marking one of the first major DC properties to debut exclusively on the streamer. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will direct the pic from a script by Christina Hodson. Kristin Burr is producing.

While plot details are under wraps, it is known that Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, will be the character behind the cape in this version. Gordon is the most established version of the Batgirl character.


While redheads make up approximately 2% of the population, we’re seeing fewer and fewer of them in media. Compared to how prominent other “marginalized” people are represented, isn’t it time to give redheads their due again? Several examples of swapping out redheads below.







Karina Smitt

I'm not as much of a "CoMiCs NeEd MoAr DiVeRsItY & iNcLuSiOn" advocate as my girlfriend often is, but we both love funny books, crispy bacon, straight bourbon and hip hop. Add yet, we never vote the same, so we cancel each other out... and that works perfectly in my book!