Actress Ivory Aquino has been cast in the feature film Batgirl as Alysia Yeoh, the best friend of the titular superhero, Barbara Gordon played by Leslie Grace.
Both Aquino and Yeoh are transgender, marking the first time a live-action feature film adaptation of a DC Comics title will feature an openly trans character.
Alysia Yeoh first appeared in a 2011 issue of Batgirl written by Gail Simone and penciled by Ardian Syaf.
News of Ivory Aquino’s casting first leaked online in mid-January after Leslie Grace posted a photo seemingly from the set of the Batgirl to her Instagram story, tagging Aquino and captioning the shot (of two women crossing the street) with ‘Barbara and Alysia’, reports variety.com.
There have been several strides in broadening LGBTQ+ representation in superhero adaptations over the past few years, especially on television.
The CW series ‘Supergirl’ included the first trans superhero on TV in Dreamer and the title superhero’s sister, Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), came out as a lesbian on Season 2.
The lead character on the CW’s ‘Batwoman’ has always been a lesbian, whether played by Ruby Rosein Season 1 or Javicia Leslie on subsequent seasons.
The animated DC series ‘Harley Quinn’ ended its second season with Harley and Poison Ivy falling in love and the DC Films adaptation aBirds of Prey’ included lesbian police detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez).
In 2021, Marvel Studios’ Disney Plus series ‘Loki’, the title character revealed he is pansexual and the feature film ‘Eternals’ included the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first same-sex couple, played by Brian Tyree Henry and Haaz Sleiman.
Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are directing ‘Batgirl’. The film costars J.K. Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Michael Keaton, ‘The Flash’ and Jacob Scipio.