Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Cathy Yan to Direct BIRDS OF PREY Film with Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn

The Birds of Prey are facing off against Harley Quinn once again...This time, on the big screen.

Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have selected Cathy Yan to be the director of an untitled DC Comics "girl gang movie," based on DC's Birds of Prey series.  The film is expected to feature the return of Margot Robbie as her Suicide Squad movie character Harley Quinn, and was known to be in development back in May 2016.

According to the article, the deal isn't completed, but Yan is expected to become the second DC Extended Universe filmmaker after Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins, and the first female Asian director to direct a superhero film.  Yan reportedly got the job over numerous male directors, after an "exceptional" presentation for Birds of Prey.  Robbie also expressed her desire for the film to be directed by a woman.

The film is expected to start production by the end of 2018 or early next year, with a script by Christina Hodson, who was just brought in to write the Batgirl movie, and also wrote the Transformers spinoff Bumblebee.  Other Harley Quinn films are reportedly still in development, including the Suicide Squad sequel to be directed by Gavin O’Connor.  Two others, Harley Quinn vs The Joker and Gotham City Sirens with Suicide Squad director David Ayer, appeared to be less of a priority at the moment.

Yan was born in China, and raised in Hong Kong and Washington, D.C.  She has directed a number of short films and the movie Dead Pigs, starring Deadpool's Zazie Beetz.  In addition, she was write and co-executive producer of the TV series UnChartered.

Created in 1992 by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, Harley Quinn first appeared in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Favor," voiced by Arleen Sorkin.  Initially intended as a female sidekick for The Joker, Harley quickly became popular with fans and the character was developed further.  In the 1994 DC Comics graphic novel The Batman Adventures: Mad Love, Quinn received her origin story, revealing her as Dr. Harleen Quinzel, a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum who fell in love with the Joker and turned to a life of crime in order to be with him.

The Birds of Prey were created in 1995 by Chuck Dixon, Jordan B. Gorfinkel, and Gary Frank, and first appeared in Black Canary/Oracle: Birds of Prey #1 as a crimefighting partnership between Black Canary and Oracle, who previously was the superhero Batgirl until she was paralyzed by The Joker.  

The pairing soon expanded to include other DC heroes, primarily female, including The Huntress, Lady Blackhawk, Power Girl, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Big Barda, Gypsy, Hawkgirl, Misfit, Hawk and Dove, Black Alice, Vixen, Katana, Manhunter (Kate Spencer), Judomaster (Sonia Sato), Starling, and Strix.

In 2002, The WB adapted Birds of Prey for television, starring Dina Meyer as Oracle, Ashley Scott as Huntress, and Rachel Skarsten as Dinah Redmond, the daughter of Black Canary.  Set in a Gotham City abandoned by Batman, the Birds of Prey faced off against Harley Quinn (Mia Sara) and other DC supervillains such as Lady Shiva and Clayface.

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