We’re hearing about the list of actresses who are reading for Warner Bros./DC’s Birds of Prey movie. The characters of Huntress, Rene Montoya and Black Canary would be a part of Harley Quinn’s all-girl gang. They take on Batman villain Black Mask, with the help of Cassandra Cain. Margot Robbie reprises her Suicide Squad role as Harley Quinn.
Being considered for the role of Huntress is The Mummy actress Sofia Boutella, Fargo and Cloverfield Lane actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Wolf of Wall Street and How I Met Your Mother‘s Cristin Milioti, and Margaret Qualley, the latter starring in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and starred in HBO’s The Leftovers.
For Rene Montoya, One Day at a Time‘s Justina Machado is in the mix, along with Vida‘s Roberta Colindrez. Montoya is a lesbian detective on the Gotham City police force.
In consideration for Black Canary, known for her shrieking cry, are Belle‘s Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Underground actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell.
The characters of Canary and Huntress made appearance on The CW’s Arrow. There was also a Birds of Prey TV series that aired on the WB from 2002-2003 for 13 episodes and took place in a Gotham City that was abandoned by Batman. In his absence, Oracle (Barbara Gordon) and the Huntress are crime-fighting, joined by telepath Dinah Redmond, Alfred Pennyworth, and Detective Jesse Reese. On the series, the all-femme team come against the schemes of Harley Quinn.
Robbie’s Luckychap is producing, with Sue Kroll, and Bryan Unkeless of Clubhouse Pictures. Christina Hodson (Bumblebee) wrote the script. Cathy Yan is directing, which Deadline exclusively reported back in April. Yan becomes the third female filmmaker to join the DC club after Wonder Woman‘s Patty Jenkins and Ava DuVernay (for upcoming The New Gods), and the first female Asian director ever tapped to direct a superhero film.
WB and DC are betting big on Yan; her previous film, Dead Pigs, won the World Cinema Dramatic Award For Ensemble Acting at Sundance in January. Her presentation for Birds of Prey was exceptional, and Robbie held firm to her desire for this film to be directed by a woman.
Back in July, Deadline reported that Birds of Prey snagged the largest California Filmmaking tax credit incentive of the 19 films announced, with $12.6 million. Production is scheduled to begin next year, with final decisions on the above roles in the next two weeks.