One of the most interesting entries in the DCEU is the 2020 movie Birds of Prey. The movie was hailed as a feminist superhero feature that saw Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn embark on a madcap adventure across Gotham with a group of badass women. Cathy Yan, who was hired to direct the feature after a strong showing by her critically acclaimed Sundance award-winning film, Dead Pigs, recently admitted in an interview with The Playlist that there was a lot of studio interference that she had to deal with while making Birds of Prey.
"It was definitely challenging [to work] on Birds of Prey. Dead Pigs was such a singular, pure version of myself. And I think when you're dealing with a budget like ['Birds of Prey' had] and the sort of pressures of a studio, especially a studio that is undergoing a lot of change, inevitably you end up having to compromise and fight for stuff. And you win some and you lose a lot. It's just kind of how it is."
Warner Bros. has gained a notorious reputation for heavily interfering in the movies belonging to their DCEU slate, leading to such muddled productions as Suicide Squad and Justice League. According to Yan, it was during the editing process for Birds of Prey that the movie morphed into something slightly different from what she had intended, due to the studio stepping in with changes.
"I would have loved to have more control over the edit [of 'Birds of Prey'], But that's just kind of how it is. I don't know if there's a Cathy Yan cut out there, but I think for any filmmaker, all of us are in it because we want to express ourselves as wholly as possible. And to match what you ultimately see on screen with what's in our head."
While Birds of Prey did not make much of an impact at the box office, the movie garnered many positive reviews for its irreverent and fast-paced narrative. Yan was also praised for her raw and intimate filmmaking style. While a sequel to Birds of Prey is unlikely at this point, Yan is quite open to the idea of making another big-budget feature as long as the story interests her.
"I would not discount ever doing [a big-budget movie] again. I try not to think of whether I would do this type of movie or that type of movie again. Or whether I'd work with this studio or that. But more like, 'Is this story compelling?' And I'm also a writer/director. So, in that case, my big lesson is that I want to continue to do that and have a little bit more control over the story I'm telling."
Directed by Cathy Yan and written by Christina Hodson, Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) stars Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, and Ewan McGregor. The film is now available on video on demand and streaming on HBO Max. This news arrives from The Playlist.