Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
Ten years after voicing Elastigirl in one of the greatest superhero movies of our time (The Incredibles), Holly Hunter might be looking for a new super suit. The Oscar winner has joined the cast of the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman, along with 300: Rise of an Empire actor Callan Mulvey and Wolverine star Tao Okamoto. In a statement about the casting decisions, director Zack Snyder revealed that he created Hunter’s role especially for her, saying “Holly has always been one of my favorite actresses. She has immense talent and is always captivating on screen. I had an opportunity to meet her a while back and knew instantly that I had to work with her.” Snyder hasn’t yet revealed who she, Mulvey or Okamoto will be playing, but has said that all three characters are original.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped fans from speculating that the “original” characters may later be revealed as major DC characters, in the same vein as Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate revealing to be Talia al Ghul, or Benedict Cumberbatch’s John Harrison ending up as Khan all along. Given how tightly Snyder and the team behind Batman Vs. Superman have kept details about the film under wraps, and the fact that Hunter will likely play a major role in the film, it wouldn’t be surprising if she turned out to be a hero herself. Plus, it has the added benefit of avoiding any fan backlash, since people can’t get upset about casting if they don’t know who she’s playing.
But with three major superheroes in the mix and very few plot details revealed, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Hunter’s potential secret identity could be. Since the film is a Man of Steel sequel and as such part of the Superman universe that Snyder has created, it seems logical for her to play one of his colleagues. There are dozens of reporters and editors at The Daily Planet that Hunter could portray, but we assume Snyder would want to give her a more important or recognizable character. The same rule would apply to the police officers and media moguls that both Kent and Superman deal with, although we wouldn’t be surprised if she turned up in an authoritative role. However, if Snyder wanted to expand one of those roles — perhaps Maggie Sawyer, Metropolis police chief? — Hunter would be a great fit.
Unfortunately, many of Superman’s powerful friends aren’t as iconic as the characters in the Batman family, but there is at least one option that would suit Hunter. If Snyder still wants to explore Superman’s origins, she could play Sharon Vance, one of Clark’s childhood friends who shared a body with the cosmic entity Kismet, as the character would likely be involved in both stories related to Superman’s past and present. In addition, Sharon is monitored by Lex Luthor for a time during the comic books, and Luthor is the main villain of the film, Hunter could play a significant role in that storyline.
However, since Sharon/Kismet only appear briefly in the comics, it seems a bit more likely that Hunter would play someone from Batman’s cast of characters. Some fans have already hypothesized that Hunter would play Barbara Gordon, who eventually becomes Batgirl and Oracle. Alternatively, she could also portray Talia al Ghul or Selina Kyle, but the choice to bring those characters into the mix so soon after Christopher Nolan gave his take on them would come off peculiar. And then there are the civilians. The best bet for a Batman character for Hunter might be an everyday citizen who gets roped into the mayhem somehow. We could see Hunter as Sarah Essen Gordon, the wife of Gotham police commissioner James Gordon, who takes over the job from her husband for a short time.
Alternatively, Snyder could turn to the Wonder Woman inner-circle for Hunter’s “secret identity,” as Batman Vs. Superman will be a launching point for a solo Wonder Woman franchise. Of the three universes, Wonder Woman has the largest number of female supporting characters, none of whom have been portrayed on the big screen, which would make it a bit harder for fans and critics to predict who Hunter might play. For a more action-intense role, Hunter could be any one of the Amazons, although if we had to bet on anyone, it would be Queen Hyppolyta, Wonder Woman’s mother and the leader of the tribe.
There is also the possibility that Snyder isn’t lying about Hunter’s character, and she really will be playing a completely original role (personally, we’d love to see her play a villainous role alongside Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor). Although, based our experience with blockbuster casting mystery, we’re having a hard time believing him. Guess we’ll all just have to wait until May 2016 to find out.