Birds of Prey has found its Huntress and Black Canary. Mary Elizabeth Winstead has been cast in the role of Huntress, with Jurnee Smollett-Bell tapped to portray Black Canary. Both actresses were rumored to be up for their respective roles previously. They join Margot Robbie, who reprises her role as Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad in a movie that will see the trio of female DC characters saving Gotham City from a nefarious villain, who is reportedly going to be Black Mask. Though, the studio has yet to confirm that particular detail.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead has been steadily on the rise in recent years, from her work in 10 Cloverfield Lane to her critically-acclaimed turn in FX's Fargo series. As for Jurnee Smollett-Bell this represents a huge break for the actress, who is mostly known for her work on the small screen in shows like Friday Night Lights and Underground. In Birds of Prey, her character Black Canary aka Dinah Lance, is a formidable street fighter who has a distinctive shrieking cry.
Huntress, on the other hand, has taken several different forms over the years in the pages of DC Comics. In the movie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead will be portraying her as a former mafia princess who witnessed her family being murdered at a very young age, quite similar to how Batman got his start. Interestingly enough, this casting report indicates that Birds of Prey will see the trio trying to protect a version of Gotham City that isn't protected by Batman. That raises all kinds of interesting questions, since this will clearly be taking place in the same universe that is occupied by Batfleck. When will this take place in the timeline? Why isn't Batman there? These are questions that will surely be answered at a later date.
This will be the next movie in the DC universe to enter production. Patty Jenkins is currently filming Wonder Woman 1984 and Todd Phillips is filming his Joker origin movie, which stars Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. The latter of which will not be connected to movies like Man of Steel and Justice League. As for Birds of Prey, it has been in development for some time and was just one of several Harley Quinn spin-offs that entered development following the success of Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie was also developing Gotham City Sirens with David Ayer. There is also the Joker and Harley Quinn movie, which recently had a script submitted to the studio.
Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) has been tapped to direct the movie, with a script from Christina Hodson (Bumblebee). At the present time, it doesn't appear as though Barbara Gordon, the woman who becomes Batgirl, will be introduced here, but her solo movie is still in development following Joss Whedon's exit. Warner Bros. recently set a February 7, 2020, release date for Birds of Prey, which is expected to begin filming early next year. The movie is currently going under the working title Fox Force Five in direct correlation to Quinten Tarantino, and the failed pilot Mia Wallace references in Pulp Fiction. Not for nothing, but Mary Elizabeth Winstead played an actress in Tarantino's Death Proof, which takes place in the Pulp Fiction universe. So there is some Tranatino flavor being sprinkled on Birds of Prey. We'll be sure to keep you posted as more details on the project are made available. This news was first reported by Deadline.