Birds of Prey won’t be released until February 2020, but DCEU fans are already creating their own marketing materials in anticipation of the eighth franchise film. Directed by Cathy Yan, written by Christina Hodson, and starring Margot Robbie, Birds of Prey follows Harley Quinn after she leaves Gotham City and separates from the Joker. Ewan McGregor co-stars as Roman Sionis aka Black Mask, a villain who threatens the life of a Quinn associate, Cassandra Cain.
Created by Dough Moench and Tom Mandrake, Black Mask first appeared in the 1985 comic Batman #386. As a child, Roman Sionis is dropped on his head and raised by pretentious parents in Gotham City. He works at Janus Cosmetics and ultimately kills both parents, thus inheriting the family fortune. Meanwhile Bruce Wayne oversees Wayne Enterprises. Sionis becomes Black Mask after being struck by a lightning bolt, which prompts him to make a customized mask out of his father’s casket. On Fox’s TV series Gotham, Sionis is portrayed by Todd Stashwick. Last November, McGregor was officially cast as Black Mask in Birds of Prey, thus marking the character’s first appearance in a live-action feature film.
Artist William Gray has created a teaser poster for Birds of Prey, with Black Mask inspiring the concept. At the top, the DC fan lists the main cast including Robbie, McGregor, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, with the color palette consisting of different shades of grey and red. At the center, Black Mask’s skull cover is placed over a pool of blood, with even more blood smeared across the forehead. Since posting the image, Gray has unveiled conceptual images of Gotham's Jeremiah Valeska as the Arkham Joker, along with an homage to a recent episode. According to his bio, the Australian artist is self-taught and uses Photoshop to create pop culture-inspired pieces. Check out Gray's Black Mask poster below.
Before McGregor’s casting as Black Mask, we reported how the character may factor into Birds of Prey’s second half. The character brings Harley Quinn and Cassandra Cain together, however the climax will apparently involve their battle against Black Mask, rather than a rescue sequence. Last month, new set photos emerged from Birds of Prey’s production, offering a look at the costumes for Winstead’s Helena Bertinelli aka The Huntress and Ella Jay Bosco’s Cassandra Cain.
As for McGregor’s future as Black Mask, reports have suggested that he may square off against Batman in a future DCEU film, but that may ultimately depend on how the character is received upon Birds of Prey’s release next February. Given the Black Mask mythology and Ewan McGregor’s resume as a performer, it seems likely that the Gotham City baddie will ultimately become a central figure in DCEU films beyond Birds of Prey.
Source: William Gray
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021