Last week, we got a rundown of the actresses in the running to land the leading roles of Black Canary and Huntress in Birds of Prey, and now it looks like Warner Bros. has found its actresses. According to Variety, Jurnee Smollett-Bell has been cast as Black Canary and Mary Elizabeth Winstead is on board as Huntress. Both characters were previously on the small screen in Arrow, but this is the first time they’ll be seen in a live-action, major motion picture.
Obviously, with comics being comics, there are multiple versions of both Black Canary and Huntress, but here’s how Variety describes the characters:
There are several versions of Huntress, aka Helena Bertinelli, throughout DC comics, but the “Birds of Prey” version is a former mafia princess who was devastated at a young age when her family was killed in a mob hit, turning her into a vigilante and eventually leading her to join the Birds of Prey team. Black Canary, aka Dinah Lance, is a good-natured and idealistic streetfighter in the comics.
Cathy Yan is set to direct the upcoming superhero spinoff, which will have Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn. The plot has a team of superheroes fighting the Gotham crime lord Black Mask.
Personally, I think both of these casting choices are great. Both Smollett-Bell and Winstead are outstanding actresses, and they’re both going to really get to craft their characters in a way similar to how Robbie took ownership of Harley Quinn. Naturally, die-hard comics fans will be scrutinizing their performances, but the important thing to remember is that the comics are more of a jumping-off point rather than something that needs to be adhered to with absolutely fidelity. Movies and comics are different mediums, and what might work on the page may not work on the screen, and I’m eager to see how Smollett-Bell and Winstead interpret Black Canary and Huntress, respectively.
Birds of Prey opens February 7, 2020.