It looks like Warner Bros. is lining up their next superhero movie. Right now, they’ve officially got Aquaman, Shazam!, and Wonder Woman 2 in the pipeline, but that’s about it. Now it looks like their next superhero feature will be Birds of Prey, the Suicide Squad spinoff with Margot Robbie set to star as Harley Quinn. According to Variety, the studio has landed on Cathy Yan to direct the upcoming feature, and she’ll work from a script by Christina Hodson (Unforgettable), who was recently tapped to write the screenplay for Batgirl.
Variety reports that the studio “had been weighing several Quinn options”, but decided to go with Birds of Prey. While the script is still in development, sources say Yan is likely to sign on once the film is finished. Production is expected to begin at the end of this year after Robbie wraps filming on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
If you’re unfamiliar with Yan, she’s had an interesting career trajectory. Per Deadline, “She was a Wall Street Journal reporter who worked from New York, Hong Kong and Beijing, and one of the paper’s youngest reporters to land multiple stories on the front page. She wrote and directed numerous short films before stepping up to features with Dead Pigs.”
Warner Bros. knew Harley Quinn was a breakout character from Suicide Squad, and it’s interesting to see that they’ve decided to go with Birds of Prey over Suicide Squad 2, Gotham City Sirens, or a Harley & Joker movie. If they’re going with Birds of Prey, I’m curious to see what characters are included alongside Quinn. In the comics, the current lineup includes Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress. It’s possible they could use Birds of Prey to backdoor the Batgirl movie (they have the same screenwriter), so that Birds leads to Batgirl. (Update: Variety’s Justin Kroll tweets that this is the plan)
In any event, I’m glad that Warner Bros. is not only exercising caution and restraint in their superhero slate, but that they’re continuing to employ female directors for their superhero movies. Check out of a clip of Cathy Yan’s Dead Pigs below: