Alicia Silverstone Talks Batgirl, Paul Rudd, and Returning to Superhero Films
At last weekend’s Motor City Comic Con, Alicia Silverstone took to the stage for a panel celebrating her successful career. Best known as the star of 1995’s Clueless, an iconic coming-of-age film, Silverstone had all kinds of stories to tell the audience. However, she’s no stranger to the superhero world either, having portrayed Barbara Wilson/Batgirl in 1997’s Batman & Robin.
Would Alicia Silverstone Return to Superhero Movies?
Batman & Robin is not regarded as a particularly good Batman film. It’s often mocked for its campy nature (Bat-Nipples, anyone?) and over-the-top acting. Silverstone became the first actress to portray Batgirl in a live-action film, but she’s been vocal about the negative experience she had on set and the struggles she endured.
Q: If you were to go back and talk to the young woman as she’s stepping into the Batgirl costume… what would you say to younger you stepping into that franchise?
“I don’t really know where to begin. I mean, that was a really hard part of my life. In 2022, no one today would go through what I went through [with] Batgirl. It just wouldn’t be allowed. [...] So, that was not an easy time. So what would I say? ‘Don’t put it on’? I don’t know! (laughs) I would love to do it again and take it… I don’t know, it would be fun to do that again in a whole different scenario. That particular scenario was just draining.”
Q: Speaking of doing it again, you mentioned Paul Rudd. I don’t think that when I saw Paul Rudd in movies a couple decades ago I would have anticipated that this is gonna be a guy that’s gonna be a superhero. I mean, there’s a lot I didn’t anticipate about this superhero genre, and certainly not Ant-Man, you know, and not Ant-Man played by Paul Rudd. But he’s a guy in his 40s playing a superhero now. You said you would do it again? Would you step into one of these massive franchises and take on a role as a superhero, superheroine?
“I think so, I think I’m older now and I’ve had a really good time. You know, it was a harder time and I was very serious, and I think now I would go have fun. I would just try really hard to have fun and enjoy it, and certainly if I was with Paul Rudd I know I would. That’s how I make my decisions now. When I was younger I was so analytical and thoughtful… but now as a woman [...] I only go places where [I’ll be] inspired or really have a good time. [...] So anyway, I just go wherever the wind blows that makes me happy.”
Alicia Silverstone’s Superhero Future
It’s extremely disappointing to hear about Alicia Silverstone’s negative experience on Batman & Robin. Hollywood has changed a lot in the last few years and actresses are rightly becoming more comfortable with voicing their discomfort on set. It’s nice to know that Alicia Silverstone isn’t opposed to returning to the world of superhero movies, but what role would she play?
Of course, there’s the elephant in the room - with Michael Keaton’s Batman returning in 2023’s The Flash and Batgirl for HBO Max, Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl may not be far behind. However, there’s always the more exciting option of a new role in either the Marvel or DC franchises. Silverstone expressed interest in reteaming with Clueless co-star Paul Rudd, who portrays Scott Lang/Ant-Man in the MCU. With that in mind, Silverstone could take on a role in the Ant-Man franchise if she wanted to.
The Unstoppable Wasp
To be fair, Marvel usually sticks to trilogies (with the exception of the Thor franchise), and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will end Paul Rudd’s trilogy with a bang. However, a possible role for Silverstone in a future Ant-Man project could be Nadia van Dyne. Nadia van Dyne is a relatively new character to the Marvel universe, debuting in 2016. The daughter of Hank Pym and his first wife Maria, Nadia was trained as an assassin in the Red Room before escaping and becoming the Unstoppable Wasp.
Nadia would be an interesting wrinkle to add into the Ant-Man mythos if the franchise continues beyond a trilogy, such as with a Cassie Lang solo film or Disney+ series. Nadia also has bipolar disorder, which could be an opportunity for Marvel Studios to continue their exploration of mental health and coping mechanisms that started with WandaVision and Moon Knight. Nadia would be a great foil for Evangeline Lilly’s Hope van Dyne, sparking even more family drama. With her Red Room background, Nadia would essentially be a Black Widow-level assassin with wings and size manipulation abilities.
I think Alicia Silverstone could play the heck out of Nadia van Dyne if Marvel is interested in bringing the character into the MCU. Silverstone could tackle any role in either franchise, though, and it seems like she’s up for round two! What role would you want to see Alicia Silverstone play in a superhero franchise? Do you think Batman & Robin is unfairly criticized? Sound off in the comments below!