The Birds of Prey movie has cast a key role. The Harley Quinn spinoff at DC Films was spurred by actress/producer Margot Robbie, and it’ll find her Suicide Squad character teaming up with a group of other female DC characters for a new superhero adventure. The film has amassed an impressive ensemble thus far that includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, and Rosie Perez as Gotham City Police detective Renee Montoya, with Ewan McGregor recently signing on to play the villain Black Mask. And now the character of Cassandra Cain—who in the comics goes on to become Batgirl—has been cast.
Per Variety, newcomer Ella Jay Basco will fill the role of Cain, who in the comics is the daughter of a pair of assassins and is deprived of speech and human contact as a child as part of her assassin training. At some point down the road she befriends Bruce Wayne and becomes Batgirl, and while Warner Bros. is developing a Batgirl movie, it’s unclear if that film would also star Basco as the moniker has been filled by different characters over the years.
In Birds of Prey, the story finds the aforementioned female characters teaming up to protect Cain when she comes across a diamond that belongs to Black Mask, who is a kingpin in Gotham City’s criminal underworld. When James Gunn signed on to write Suicide Squad 2 from scratch (essentially rebooting the property), it was revealed that previous director Gavin O’Connor left Suicide Squad 2 when he discovered the story he pitched was too similar to the one being used for Birds of Prey. So we can reasonably assume that previous iteration of Suicide Squad 2 would have found the squad protecting someone important.
Basco is a true newcomer with only single episodes of shows like Veep and Grey’s Anatomy under her belt, but she’s in line with what director Cathy Yan was looking for in the character—a teen/pre-teen of Asian descent. This is a wonderfully diverse cast thus far, and it’s all the more exciting knowing that the film is being crafted with an R-rating in mind.
Production is set to get underway on Birds of Prey soon in anticipation of the film’s February 7, 2020 release date.