Margot Robbie is hoping to have a diverse cast around her for Birds of Prey. One of the DCEU's greatest strengths so far is the diverse nature of their lineup. Jason Momoa's Aquaman, for example, is very different from the traditional Arthur Curry look. However, they've also been a prime example of giving females starring roles and seeing the success that can come with it. Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is their highest grossing and best critically received movie. Meanwhile, Suicide Squad introduced Robbie as Harley Quinn, and the film still made over $700 million at the box office despite a critical lashing.
It shouldn't come as a surprise then that quite a few of DC's upcoming films are female focused. Wonder Woman 2 is their big tentpole next year, and it looks like Birds of Prey will immediately follow it in 2020. The project gives WB the opportunity to cast several major hero and villain roles for women, and Robbie wants the people chosen to reflect the real world.
During an interview with Yahoo, Robbie was asked about the developmental process for Birds of Prey and the diversity it already has brought. The film hired Cathy Yan to direct, making her the first Asian woman to direct a superhero movie. The hiring of Yan will be just the start of the diversity on set if Robbie has anything to say about it, as she wants diverse co-stars too. When asked if the diverse hiring will spread to the casting process, Robbie said, "Yep, yes exactly, real life isn’t so one specific image. We’ve got to reflect that onscreen."
There's more attention on who is being hired for Hollywood's biggest films than ever before. Even though a large majority of comic book characters are white (and male), studios are looking to update characters to better represent the current state of the world. It isn't too surprising that Robbie is making this a priority on Birds of Prey either. Not only did she want Yan to direct, but previous reports noted the desire for an all-female crew during production.
As for the characters who could help make up the diverse cast around Robbie, there's only one thing known for sure: Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl will be included. Even though J.K. Simmons plays Commissioner Gordon in this universe, there's no reason why his daughter couldn't be biracial or adopted if the best person to play Batgirl isn't a white redhead. The same could go for Black Canary, who is a rumored part of the ensemble. Huntress is also a candidate to appear and is ethnically ambiguous in the comics. They could however include comic-accurate diverse characters like Vixen or Power Girl too. With Birds of Prey looking to start production early next year, fans could start to get casting news near the end of 2018. Whenever the announcements do come, just how diverse the lineup actually is will be worth keeping an eye on.
Birds of Prey is currently in development but does not have a release date.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020