Ivory Aquino Joins ‘Batgirl’ as DC Films’ First Transgender Star

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Warner Bros. and DC Films have cast Ivory Aquino in the upcoming HBO Max film “Batgirl,” in the first transgender role ever in a DC Comics film.

Aquino will play Alysia Yeoh, a trans woman and roommate of Barbara Gordon who was introduced in the “Batgirl” comics by writer Gail Simone and artist Ardian Syaf in 2011. Leslie Grace, who will play Batgirl in the film, leaked Aquino’s casting via a set photo on Instagram with the actress tagged in the picture, which was titled “Barbara and Alysia.”

Born in the Philippines, Aquino first rose to prominence in 2017 with her performance as transgender activist Cecelia Chung in the ABC miniseries “When We Rise.” Though she is the first trans actress to play an openly trans role in a DC feature film, a trans character was previously introduced in the fourth season of the DC TV series “Supergirl” with Nia Nal, a superhero played by trans activist and actress Nicole Maines.

“Bad Boys For Life” duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are directing the film from a screenplay by “Birds of Prey” writer Christina Hodson, with J.K. Simmons, Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser also starring. The film is set for release on HBO Max sometime later this year.

Aquino is represented by A3 Artists Agency and Industry Entertainment. The casting was first reported by Variety.