A new set photo from the upcoming Batgirl film suggests the movie will feature Gotham City's most nefarious criminal organization: the Court of Owls.
The image comes courtesy of Daniel John Caven, who has regularly posted snapshots from the film's Glasgow set. It shows an issue of the fictional magazine Gotham Tattler with the ominous headline, "The shadowy truth behind the Court of the Owls." The issue promises to "expose the secret society run by the elite and corrupt" and also promises "9 questions about the Court of Owls you were afraid to ask."
The Court of Owls was created by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo in their standout run on Batman at the onset of DC's New 52 initiative in 2011. An organization formed in Gotham's colonial days, the Court of Owls is composed of wealthy Gothamites and has its hooks in all political arenas of the city. The secret society also employs deadly assassins known as Talons, and these killers are essentially immortal thanks to a secret serum developed by the Court.
The upper-right corner of the Gotham Tattler magazine refers to a "former circus child star" who was nearly recruited by the Court of Owls. This is a reference to none other than Dick Grayson, the first Robin. William Cobb, Dick's great-grandfather, served as one of the Court's most elite Talons, and Dick was selected by the Court to carry on Cobb's legacy. These plans were disrupted when Dick's parents were murdered and Batman adopted the former child acrobat as his ward.
The extent of the Court's involvement in the Batgirl film remains to be seen, but Batman's protégé will also battle the owl-themed cabal in the upcoming Gotham Knights video game developed by WB Games Montréal. Set for release this year, the game features Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin and Red Hood uniting in the aftermath of Batman's death and facing off against both high-ranking members of the Court and the Talons who serve them.
Batgirl stars Leslie Grace as the titular hero and also features Michael Keaton, who will reprise his role as Batman and Bruce Wayne, continuing his appearance from The Flash movie which is expected to reset the timeline of the DC Extended Universe. J.K. Simmons is slated to reprise his role as Commissioner James Gordon, while Brendan Fraser will play the villain Firefly. The film, which does not yet have a release date, will premiere exclusively on HBO Max.
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