The first reactions to the new DC Comics adaptation Birds of Prey arrived this week, and many had high praise for the film’s action sequences. That should come as no surprise since director Cathy Yan worked closely with the in-demand stunt company 87eleven, which was created by John Wick franchise director and veteran stunt coordinator/2nd unit director Chad Stahelski. At at the recent junket for the film, we asked Yan about Stahelski’s contributions to the film.
Birds of Prey finds Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn forming a girl gang of her own to take on the villainous Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), and fans have been greatly anticipating this spinoff ever since Robbie made her Harley Quinn debut in Suicide Squad.
Reports swirled last summer that Warner Bros. was bringing in Stahelski himself to help craft some new action scenes for the movie during reshoots, and at the Birds of Prey junket Yan confirmed to Collider’s own Dorian Parks that the John Wick 3: Parabellum director served as a 2nd unit director during those reshoots:
“He did some of the second unit directing for the reshoots, but also his company—because we were lucky enough to get him, his company 87eleven we’d worked with for the entirety of the shoot, and that’s because I really liked the way they did action. It felt very practical. Our stunt coordinator Jonathan Eusebio and I really got along and we really love like the old Jackie Chan movies, and the way that those stunts were done and the way that you shoot that kind of action—which is what 87eleven is sort of known for, as well. So they’d been training our ladies for months, and they did most of their own stunt work. Then when it came time to actually adding even more action in reshoots, it was just amazing to get to work with Chad too.”
Based on initial reactions to the film, it sounds like that collaboration paid off in spades.
Look for our full interview with Yan on Collider soon, and click here for a full list of upcoming DC movies. Birds of Prey opens in theaters on February 7th.