The future of Warner Bros. Pictures’ superhero universe is a bit more stable now that both Aquaman and Wonder Woman have met expectations critically and commercially, making the outlook a little brighter for some of the other projects currently in development. Among those films is Birds of Prey, a live-action feature that will bring back Suicide Squad actress Margot Robbie as the deranged Harley Quinn, focusing on a group of female heroes and villains from the DC Comics universe.
The first teaser for Birds of Prey — which is also being titled Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) in some of its marketing — was released January 28, and introduces the primary cast members for the film and how their characters will appear in the project.
Along with Robbie as Harley Quinn (who appears prominently in the teaser), the film’s cast includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain (a.k.a. Batgirl), Ewan McGregor as the villain Black Mask, and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya. Supporting cast members include Ali Wong (Fresh Off the Boat), Robert Catrini (American Crime Story), Chris Messina (Sharp Objects), Steven Williams (It), and Derek Wilson (Preacher).
Back in April 2018, little-known filmmaker Cathy Yan was hired to helm the film, which is expected to be an “R”-rated feature. Yan previously directed 2017’s Dead Pigs, a small-budget drama that won the World Cinema Dramatic Award For Ensemble Acting at the Sundance Film Festival. Yan also wrote and directed several short films, and was a Wall Street Journal reporter.
Yan is now the second female filmmaker in Warner Bros. Pictures’ superhero universe after Patty Jenkins helmed Wonder Woman, and she is the first Asian female director to helm a mainstream superhero movie. Robbie, who is also one of the producers on the film, reportedly made a strong push to bring in a female director on the project.
Yan will be directing the film from a script penned by Christina Hodson, the screenwriter on the Transformers spinoff film Bumblebee and the upcoming Batgirl movie.
Robbie’s portrayal of Quinn is expected to make a return in the upcoming Suicide Squad sequel, and two more films featuring the character — a Gotham City Sirens film and a project with Harley Quinn and Jared Leto’s Joker — have been announced, but appear to have been put on the back-burner by the studio.
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is currently scheduled to hit theaters February 7, 2020.
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