Film

‘Birds of Prey’ Casts Huntress and Black Canary

A trio of women take the streets of Gotham

Mary Elizabeth Winsteadparamount pictures

Earlier this week Warner Bros. Pictures announced the release date for “Birds of Prey,” a new DC Universe spinoff with Margot Robbie once again playing the role of Harley Quinn. The movie will also feature the characters Huntress and Black Canary, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead will be taking the role of Huntress and Jurnee Smollett-Bell will be playing the role of Black Canary. Margot Robbie originally played Harley Quinn in the film “Suicide Squad” for Warner Bros. Pictures, this time Quinn and crew will be living in a Gotham that is missing its protector Batman. Deadline was the first to confirm the Winstead/Smollett-Bell casting and that Batman would be missing in Gotham.

If you’re new to these characters, Huntress was also known as Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. The movie probably won’t be going through that story line but instead have the Huntress as the daughter to a mafia kingpin that is gunned down. After seeing her family killed when she was young, just like Batman, Huntress starts taking taking on other crime lords. In the same “Birds of Prey” comics, Black Canary joins with former Batgirl Barbara Gordon, after Gordon is almost killed by the Joker. Black Canary is also known as Dinah Laurel Lance, and Black Canary and Gordon start taking on crime together, with Gordon taking on the name Oracle.

Having Batman missing is most likely a fix to DC’s issues with casting the character. The previous actor, Ben Affleck, is on the outs with the role and the studio hasn’t introduced another actor to take his place. With no Batman set to anchor the DC Universe again, it’s just easier not to have him around.

Batman, Huntress and the possible villain Black Mask all have something in common, dead parents. Black Mask was also known as Roman Sionis, a socialite who was the wealthy acquaintance of Bruce Wayne. Sionis’ parents were not kind to him when he was young, were often times hypocritical with their outward charities, and only really cared about their image. While Bruce Wayne was wealthy and loved, Sionis was wealthy and ignored. Another contrast is that Bruce Wayne lost his parents and Sionis killed his by burning their house to the ground with them inside. It will be interesting to see if all of this loss and patricide plays together in the plot of the film, that is, if Black Mask is the actual antagonist.

The film is being directed by Cathy Yan and is being produced by Margot Robbie, Sue Kroll, and Bryan Unkeless. The story will be based on the DC Comics characters created by Jordan B. Gorfinkel and Chuck Dixon from DC Comics.

“Suicide Squad” premiered at number-one back in 2016 with a $133M opening weekend. Despite mixed reviews from fans and critics, the film was a fantastic financial success for the studio. “Suicide Squad” made over $325M domestically and over $746M worldwide while in theaters. That DC project was written and directed by David Ayer, and featured Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevigne, Viola Davis, Scott Eastwood, Joel Kinnaman, Common, Jay Hernandez, and Adam Beach.

“Birds of Prey” is set to release on February 7, 2020.