Warner Bros.' upcoming Birds of Prey movie has officially cast two of its lead roles, with Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane) claiming the role of Huntress, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Underground) playing Black Canary. With Margot Robbie set to reprise her role as Harley Quinn, there is now just one more Bird of Prey left to be cast: tough-as-nails detective Renee Montoya.
Both Winstead and Smollett-Bell were named on a casting shortlist for Birds of Prey, with Winstead beating Margaret Qualley and Cristin Milioti to the role of Helena Bertinelli a.k.a. Huntress, and Smollett-Bell up against Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Janelle Monae for the role of Dinah Lance a.k.a. Black Canary. Christina Hodson (Bumblebee) wrote the screenplay for Birds of Prey, and Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) is set to direct.
In addition to this confirmed casting news, Deadline reports that there are now just two actresses vying for the role of Renee Montoya: Justina Machado (One Day at a Time) and Roberta Colindrez (Birdman). Montoya is a detective with Gotham City PD, while Black Canary is a vigilante with the ability to incapacitate bad guys using her "canary cry." The movie's Huntress is described as "former mafia princess [who] saw her family killed at a young age," which fits with her comic book origins. Batgirl, who was a member of the Birds of Prey in the comics, is reportedly not in the movie, but Cassandra Cain (who became Batgirl in the comics) will be featured in the story as a young girl whom the team has to save.
Smollett-Bell is best known for her TV roles in shows like Underground, True Blood and Friday Night Lights, so Black Canary will be her first role in a major franchise film. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is perhaps best known for her role as Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and more recently played the lead role in the minimalist sci-fi horror film 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Birds of Prey is expected to begin production in 2019 and will arrive in theaters in February 2020, a few months after Wonder Woman 1984's release. Warner Bros. has a lot of DC movies at various stages of development, but the success of Wonder Woman and the popularity of Robbie's Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad were likely factors in putting Birds of Prey on the front burner. Harley Quinn is also set for three other upcoming movies: Suicide Squad 2 and Gotham City Sirens, both of which have David Ayer attached to direct, and The Joker and Harley Quinn, which will be written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love). Of those movies, Suicide Squad 2 will likely arrive in theaters first, though it doesn't yet have a release date.
With three of the Birds of Prey cast, it won't be long before we find out who will be playing Renee Montoya. We'll keep you updated on any further casting news.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020