The live-action DC universe has locked down its next big villain. Ewan McGregor has been tapped to play Black Mask in Birds of Prey, the next DC movie heading into production from Warner Bros. This movie will see Margot Robbie reprise her role as Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad in a girl-gang ensemble taking place in Gotham City. They will officially be going toe-to-toe with Ewan McGregor.
According to a new report, Ewan McGregor is in final negotiations for the role of Black Mask, who has historically been a Batman villain but is being utilized for Birds of Prey. An earlier report indicated that Batman will not be around in the Gotham City depicted in this universe, allowing for Black Mask to unleash a reign of terror. That will leave it up to a trio fronted by Harley Quinn to stop him. Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead will also be part of the team as Black Canary and Huntress, respectively. Rosie Perez is on board as Renee Montoya, a member of the Gotham City Police Department.
We've heard rumblings that the villain could be utilized in the DC universe at some point and in August we reported that he was going to make his big screen debut in Birds of Prey. For those who may not be familiar, Black Mask, created by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake, made his DC Comics debut in August 1985 in Batman #386. He is typically portrayed as a sadistic kingpin, who is a regular in Gotham City's criminal underworld that the Caped Crusader often has to deal with. Roman Sionis is the man under the mask. He murdered his affluent parents in order to take control of the family business, which he promptly lost, along with his family fortune. He proceeded to blame Bruce Wayne and Wayne Enterprises for his failures. So, he dawns the mask and heads goes on to head up a gang known as the False Face Society.
This could prove to be a great move for both Warner Bros. and Ewan McGregor. Ever since wrapping up the Star Wars prequel trilogy with Revenge of the Sith in 2005, the actor has largely avoided franchises. Though, he has appeared in big movies, such as lending his voice for Beauty and the Beast. And he's said he'd be happy to do an Obi-Wan standalone, but Disney seems to have other ideas about that. Birds of Prey has big franchise potential and, since it's connected to the larger DC universe, it could present opportunities for Black Mask to appear elsewhere down the line.
Ewan McGregor most recently appeared in Disney's Christopher Robin and is set to lead the cast of The Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep. Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) is set to direct from a script by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee). The movie will enter production in early 2019 and was recently given a February 7, 2020, release date by Warner Bros. It will precede Wonder Woman 1984, which was recently delayed to June 5, 2020. This news was first reported by The Wrap.