Birds of Prey is shaping up to be far more interesting than the film that birthed it, Suicide Squad. The upcoming spinoff brings back Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and adds Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya. But most exciting will be Cathy Yan getting to direct the upcoming superhero movie. Yan previously directed the indie Dead Pigs, which won the World Cinema Special Jury Prize at Sundance, and at the U.S.-China Entertainment Summit at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, she had the chance to talk about what attracted her to the project [via Deadline]:
“I could not put the script down, it had so much dark humor to it which a lot of my work does, and there are themes of female empowerment which are so strong and relateable. So I went in with, not with confidence, but at least a sense that I belonged in the room, that somehow magically in terms of timing and luck that this opportunity was open to me and I was definitely going to make the best of it.”
Yan also said that her pitch to Warner Bros. was different than what studios typically get in those kinds of meetings:
“I have never done any of these things and I asked my agents for examples to get a better sense: I put together a pitch deck and also assembled a sizzle reel. But I would say it wasn’t like a lot of other sizzle reels which reference other films that remotely feel like your film. I find those to be rather pointless. But I created my own version that thematically and tonally conveyed what you would feel (in my movie).”
Yan also revealed that Cassandra Cain will be a character in the movie, although the role has yet to be cast. In the comics, Cain is half-Asian who becomes a ward of Barbara Gordon and ultimately dons the Batgirl costume. Yan also confirmed that the film would carry an R-rating, which would make it the first DC movie to receive a wide theatrical release with that rating (the director’s cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was rated R, and there was also an unrated version of Suicide Squad, but these were both on home release).
Birds of Prey opens February 7, 2020.