Black Mask Will Be the Villain of Warner Bros.’ ‘Birds of Prey’

     August 6, 2018

black-mask-sliceIn a world where Warner Bros.’ comic book film slate is completely in flux, where up is down, there are roughly 14 Joker movies in development, Batman hates being Batman, Queen Mera of Atlantis can’t afford a realistic red wig, and small religious organizations are forming around a fabled Zack Snyder cut of Justice Leaguepretty much any news out of the always surprising DC Extended Universe is at least going to be interesting. This, today, from The Wrap, is very interesting: Long-time Dark Knight nemesis Roman Sionis, better known by his crime lord alias Black Mask, will reportedly be the main villain in director Cathy Yan‘s Birds of Prey

The character first appeared in the pages of Batman #386, written by Doug Moench and penciled by Tom Mandrake. Born to one of the richest families in Gotham City, a young Sionis eventually ran his parents’ business, Janus Cosmetics, into the ground. This was, of course, shortly after he murdered both his parents in a fire. Following the collapse of both his family and business empire, Sionis took to a life of crime and adopted the mantle of The Black Mask. In some iterations, the Halloween headgear that gives him his name is crafted from his own father’s casket. In others, the mask is actually melted on to Sionis’ face. (Also, in Gotham canon, Black Mask’s father ran an underground fight club out of his office building. Unfortunately, I am the only person on Earth who believes in Gotham canon.)

Margot Robbie has already been confirmed to reprise her role of Harley Quinn, which she debuted in David Ayer‘s extended Kidz Bop music video, Suicide Squad. (Robbie will also serve as producer.) Also set to appear are long-time DC Comics ass-kickers Black Canary, Huntress, Renee Montoya, and a young Cassandra Cain.

Birds of Prey—which was written by Christina Hodson, who is also penning a Batgirl script for Warner Bros.—is eyeing a 2020 release date, with production kicking off January 2019.

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