Dreams Do Come True: Batgirl Casting

Mark March 30, 2017 down as one of the greatest days of my life. A Batgirl film was finally announced, with Joss Whedon at the helm to write and direct it. You might think it is an exaggeration, but my husband begs to differ. I fancy it is because I even talk about it in my sleep. In my head, I already have the ideal movie script and cast. While I may ponder my full ideal cast and story at a later time, I first wanted to play with who could take on the Batgirl cowl. Of course, I have a clear favorite, but there are others I wouldn’t be disappointed in taking the lead. There are also a very few that I want nowhere near the role (looking at you, Anna Kendrick and Jena Malone). I digress. On to the main point, who is our Barbara Gordon?

First off, I have a very clear image of Barbara Gordon. Red hair, librarian/girl next door cute, smart with a taste of sarcastic wittiness. This is my Barbara Gordon. She cares about others and she doesn’t take your shit. Plain and simple. She’s my cup of tea.

4. Karen Gillan 

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When it comes down to the look, Karen Gillan pretty much nails it. Her bright red hair and ability to rock the girl next door style leaves me pretty much charmed. Also, there are no concerns about her acting abilities. From Doctor Who to Guardians of the Galaxy and even Selfie, she’s always brought a fresh dewiness to the roll. My biggest concern with Gillan is her active role in the Marvel universe. Sure, she is unrecognizable as Nebula, but she is even slated to be in Avengers: Infinity War. I have no doubts that Marvel will not want to share.

3. Olivia Cooke

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The youngest of the bunch, Olivia Cooke has the opportunity to bring a naivety to the role that no other actress on the list could match. If they were going with a Batgirl origin story, I think Cooke could be their girl. Personally, I prefer a slightly aged up version, but I would be interested in seeing how Cooke could put her own flair on the Batgirl mantra. I’m the most unfamiliar with her work, only seeing her in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. While she seems to be typically casted in “scream girl” roles, I’m excited to see what she brings to the table in Ready Player One. Is she the Barbara Gordon the world didn’t know they needed?

2. Jane Levy

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If there is one person who could nail Barbara Gordon’s sassy wit right off the bat, it is Jane Levy. Have doubts? Watch her in Suburgatory. You will fall in love, and wonder why this darling tv show was cancelled. It was ahead of its time, but we can write those wrongs by giving Levy her time to shine. Similar to Cooke, Levy has been a little bit of a Scream Queen, but she has shined in every role. Any role that allows Levy to showcase her witty charm, you can sign me up for. Also, if we are going with the Batgirl of Burnside story, Levy knows how to navigate going from a big city to a town.

1. Emma Stone

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I know, you get it. I love Emma Stone. But do you know why I love Emma Stone? It started with House Bunny, rumbled in Zombieland and solidified in Easy A. This was the girl who I wanted to be Barbara Gordon. She embodies the role with her comedic timing, clever tongue and down to earth personality. This is always what I’ve known of Batgirl, and Stone is who I wanted to personify it on the big screen. Ironically, Stone played my second favorite female comic character of all time, Gwen Stacy. They both have a similar sharpness that makes them stick out. At the end of the day, both of these characters always loved their respective significant others for who they were, not the costumes they wore to save the day. Even more so, both of these ladies kicked ass in their chosen fields. Look at both of them shine today, as our current Batgirl and Spider-Gwen. Back to the main point, Stone is the cheeky detective we need and the sassy heroine we want when it comes to Barbara Gordon.

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Things to Make You Smile: Best of 2016

What’s better than beginning a new year by looking back at what was good from the last? 2016 wasn’t one of the best years on the books, but it had it’s moments that reassured everyone maybe it would be okay after all. I mean, if you can’t escape with a good movie or book, then what even is the point? If you are still looking for a little bit of sunshine, I hope this list provides you with everything you need. Here are the ten things that made 2016 all worth it (well, kind of).

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La La Land

Damien Chazelle created a Hollywood musical masterpiece, and he knows it. Unlike traditional musicals, La La Land only boasts 6 songs with actual singing, but it’s soundtrack isn’t something to brush off. The songs littered through out the movie will make you fall in love and leave you humming for days. Maybe that’s just me, I have bought the soundtrack digitally and received the vinyl for Christmas (I can’t stop singing it, and I know I’m driving my loved ones crazy).

Much like the tagline, this movie is for the fools who dream. If the opening scene doesn’t draw you in and the last 15 minutes doesn’t get your tear ducts working, then I think we need to talk. Bring back the chemistry from Crazy, Stupid, Love. and Gangster Squad, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone sparkle like they never have before. Gosling hit a stellar year with film, and has already partnered up with Chazelle for a Neil Armstrong-biopic, but it is Stone who steals your heart and doesn’t stop running. Stone brings sincerity to every role she touches, but La La Land is the next level and her career best. I’ll be forever grateful for this 2-hour romantic stroll about the ones who dream. Until it is on DVD, I guess I’ll just be humming along to the soundtrack every day (sorry loved ones).

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Sarah Kuhn’s “Heroine Complex”

Lately, I’ve had a hard time connecting to books. Graphic novels are a different story, but traditional books have eluded me this year. That was, until I stumbled across Heroine Complex at our local Barnes and Noble. If the cover didn’t suck me in, the story did. A fine mix between your soapy fantasy love story and the baddest female super heroines previously missing from DC and Marvel movies,  you’ll fall in love with Evie and her fellow companions and see why representation is so important in storytelling (and, of course, every day life).

With the sequel, Heroine Worship, set to be released in July 2017, I can’t wait to fall back into the comfortable, sassy mind of Evie Tanaka and see if her life is still ridded with evil cupcakes. Cheers to Sarah Kuhn for making such an easily lovable character, and for reminding me that good books are always waiting around the corner.

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Arrival

Speaking of women who kick ass, have you seen Arrival? One of the sharpest sci-fi movies to date, I instantly fell in love and connected to Amy Adams‘ character, Louise Banks. The story felt familiar (in the best way), and the structure of the film will make you long for more science fiction stories. The movie is based on a short story by Ted Chiang called, “Story of Your Life.” If you connected to this film like I did, I highly recommend checking out the short story and connecting to some of Chiang’s other material.

I don’t want to spoil the plot of Arrival, but if you follow along closely you will catch little bits of detail that unravel for a very hard hitting final act. Don’t sleep on this film. If it is still in theaters around you, I urge you to go out and see it now.

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Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

One of the few new shows I actually loved this year, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency captured my heart with episode one. The titular character, Dirk Gently, is such a gem, but he doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the supporting characters. Ultimately, this feels like the love letter Douglas Adams deserves, whose novel the show is based upon.

To anyone worried about getting too attached to a show, Dirk Gently’s has already been renewed for a season 2! That means another season full of ridiculous adventures, a new mystery to explore and an opportunity to show this show to the people you care about most in your life. With all of its quirks, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency was the show I needed in 2016.

Added bonus: If you love the show as much as I do, be sure to follow their Twitter account for a little extra pep in your step every morning.

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The Nice Guys

Shane Black created a very raunchy buddy-cop comedy, and I’m here for every second of it. I remember seeing previews for The Nice Guys in February and wanting to see it, but alas my husband and I waited until it was out on DVD. Out of all the movies we saw in 2016, I wish we would have saw this one in theaters. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe had some of the best on-screen chemistry I have ever scene, and, much like Dirk Gently, the Twitter account did a great job of promoting that fact (enjoy).

The movie itself found a way to pair up two unlikely candidates to solve a mystery that is so ridiculous, that you will want to follow it until the in. Sprinkled with inappropriate jokes, Gosling truly owns every scene, but his character’s daughter, Angourie Rice stole the show in her own way. Crowe reminds you that he can be charming, but more than anything the movie left me wanting a Yoo-hoo! If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will.

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Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr’s Batgirl Issue 50 (and before)

Why Issue 50? Well, that is the last issue that the Batgirl trio, Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr, worked on together. Batgirl of Burnside, as I like to call the journey (but it also the name of the first volume), was one of the greatest re-envisions of Batgirl and I relished in every issue. If you ever glanced at any of Tarr’s work, then you know exactly the kind of beauty you are getting yourself in for. As for Stewart and Fletcher, they help bring the images to life and create a story worth living in.

Don’t be too sad that they aren’t creating any more issues for Batgirl (even if I’m still silently sobbing in my pillow), they developed a new comic series through Image Comics called Motor Crush and it is worth diving into. Just as vivid and lively as Batgirl, this is a dynamic trio that I would keep my eye on in years to come.

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Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

When I recently read Danielle Gutierrez’s article about Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, it was everything I’d been feeling and more. With little promotion before it’s release, Popstar was one of the best comedies I’ve indulged in. The Lonely Island has always had a direct line to my funny bone, but this felt like a refinement over their past material and built a monster that I’ve watched multiple times since purchasing on DVD. Unfortunately, like Gutierrez mentioned, I was one of the few who saw it in theaters, much less to tell all of our closest friends about it who didn’t even know it existed.

If you are looking for a good laugh or some good weekend entertainment, rent it. Get stuck on the comical soundtrack, buy it and play it on repeat. After a gloomy 2016, who doesn’t need something like”Incredible Thoughts” to brighten up their day? If this is any sign of what is to come from The Lonely Island, sign me up for more. Like usual, I’ll be there waiting for it the day it releases.

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Kate McKinnon

If you’ve made it through 2016 without anyone bringing up Kate McKinnon, I’m utterly shocked. One of the brightest stars of 2016, McKinnon not only dominated SNL, but also made a name for herself in Ghostbusters amongst other comedies released this year. Even with lackluster releases of Office Christmas Party and Masterminds, McKinnon found a way to make herself stand out against a crowd of comedic superstars. If she didn’t steal your heart as Hillary Clinton on SNL, then I truly have no hope for you going forward.

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Mahershala Ali

The best parts of Moonlight and Luke Cage, I’ve been a huge fan of Mahershala Ali since his role as Remy in House of Cards. Every time Ali graces the silver screen, he brings something new to the show. Whether charming or threatening, I’m almost always captivated with what he is selling. The most disappointing part is that Ali is almost always in a supporting role. Somehow, he never lets that stop him from dominating every scene, usually stealing the light from the main performer (looking at you Mike Colter). Let’s leave it at this, there is a reason he is sweeping the awards for best supporting actor this season.

Top 10 Comic Book Romances

To celebrate the holiday of love and the release of Deadpool, I’m serenading all of you by compiling a list of the best superhero romances through out comic book history. Okay, maybe that is a bit dramatic, but these are my favorite romances. Fair warning, they are a little heavy on the DC Comics side, but I can’t help what compels my heart.

10. Superman (Clark Kent) and Lois Lane

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Beginning this list with one of the most iconic comic book couples only feels right. When you think of superhero relationships, Superman and Lois Lane are probably one of the first to come to your mind. While I am not a Superman fan, there is something about their relationship that draws you in. Perhaps it has something to do with its everlasting power. While they aren’t always together there is a part of Clark Kent that will always hold out for Lois Lane.

9. Gambit (Remy Etienne LeBeau) and Rogue (Anna Marie)

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Rogue will forever be my favorite part of X-Men, and Gambit is your lovable southern mutant. Together they are a force to be reckoned with, but there is always something that will hold them apart. Rogue’s powers cause her to absorb the powers, life and even memories of any one who touches her. This causes a greater tension than “will they or won’t they?”

8. Wolverine (James “Logan” Howlett) and Storm (Ororo Munroe)

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I know many people prefer Wolverine with with Jean Grey, but I like to group Jean Grey and Cyclops (Scott Summers) and I love Wolverine with Storm. These two have a strong foundation of friendship and it blossomed into one of the better relationships within the Marvel universe. With all the alternative timelines inside the X-Men universe, at least I can pretend they are happy and married somewhere.

7. Raven and Beast Boy (Garfield Logan)

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I grew up with Teen Titans as a little kid, and then when I matured and got into comics I still found an attachment to Teen Titans. More specifically I found myself still compelled by the relationship between Raven and Beast Boy. Sure, there is Terra and Jericho that complicates the relationship between these two, but like the above characters on this list there is just a special connection between these two. While Teen Titans seems to come and go, these two seem to stick around forever.

6. Batwoman (Kate Kane) and Renee Montoya

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Kate Kane and Renee Montoya have a complicated history, but it is also one of the most progressive relationships in modern day comics. Through out Batwoman’s storylines, Kate Kane is still not getting the justice she deserve in DC Comic’s New 52. While Renee may not be the best fit for Kate, their relationship symbolized a new wave of comics and hopefully we will start to see more LGBT relationships blossom throughout the different superhero comics.

5. Poison Ivy (Dr. Pamela Isley) and Harley Quinn (Dr. Harleen Quinzel)

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To Preface this, Harley Quinn‘s relationship with the Joker has always bothered me. While many people still cling to that relationship, I have always preferred her friendship with Poison Ivy because it was an escape away from the abusive nature of the Joker. With the New 52, we have gotten to see Harley break away and become her own villain, and even more so we got to see the relationship with Ivy blossom into something more. I also do not think DC Comics is perfect, their handling of the Batwoman comics was poorly done, but I think they are starting to make strides and their comics. Making a relationship many people loved as cannon definitely speak volumes to me.

4. Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Catwoman (Selina Kyle)

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This was the first relationship I was really introduced to with my comic book adventures. Batman was my first love; I own every movie, watched every cartoon and have done my best to read whatever I can get my hands on. Furthermore, his relationship with Catwoman was electric. She was the yin to his yang, in the sense that she walked the fine line between good and evil. Batman, for his part, mostly brought out the best in Catwoman. Together, they kind of defined each others moral code. Kind of like Superman and Lois Lane, you can’t think of iconic couple without thinking of Batman and Catwoman.

3. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage

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They aren’t a perfect couple, but there is just something special they share. Through each chapters of their lives, they always find a way back to each other. Thankfully, Netflix and Marvel has done a great job of bringing this relationship to  life and showing its imperfections, as well as its perfections. I feel like I am simplifying their relationship, but it just feels very real minus the super powers. We even feel the journey between Luke Cage and Jessica Jones as they explore the world of parenthood and how they fit that into their “jobs” and everyday life. So maybe this couple truly celebrates the hero in all of us.

2. Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Gwen Stacy (Spider-Gwen)

 

Gwen Stacy will always be the true love of Spider-Man, in my heart. Yes, there is Mary Jane, the girl who loved Spider-Man, but isn’t Peter Parker more than a costume? While the Amazing Spider-Man films suffered from a lack luster script, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone really captured the essence and chemistry that I felt reading pages shared between Gwen and Peter. Thankfully, Marvel has resurrected Gwen Stacy and created Spider-Gwen. And yes, I relish in joy with the interactions between Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen. While the two can’t be together in their respective universes, maybe they can find love within the Spider-Verse.

1. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) and Dick Grayson (Nightwing/Robin)

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And the couple to top the list is Batgirl and Nightwing. They grew up together, had flirtatious fights with stolen glances. They matured together and broke away from the bat that helped them so they could create good on their own. No matter what though, they always come back to one another. While they are good in their respective areas, they’re perfect together. They don’t have to hide who they are between each other, and they know each other better than anyone else could. Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson are perfect together, whether they want to admit it (or succumb) to it or not.