Mary Elizabeth Winstead has confirmed her casting as Huntress in DC's Birds of Prey movie. The Huntress comic book character (specifically, the Helena Rosa Bertinelli iteration, whom Winstead is playing) was created in the late 1980s and was played by Jessica De Gouw during the first two seasons of The CW's Arrow, but hasn't appeared on the Arrowverse TV series since. Moreover, the character had never been portrayed on the big screen in either animated or live-action form, prior to Winstead's casting this week.
Birds of Prey is likewise the first comic book film to feature the titular superhero team - a roster that, traditionally, has included Huntress as a core member. The Birds themselves will be led by Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn (reprising her role from Suicide Squad) and include Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Underground) as Dinah Lance aka. Black Canary, along with Winstead's Huntress. The latter, of course, is no stranger to comic book adaptations herself, having famously played Ramona Flowers in Edgar Wright's cult 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
In an interview with The Wrap to promote her new film All About Nina (her first interview since she formally joined the Birds of Prey cast), Winstead responded to her casting as Huntress and commented on what attracted her to both the role and the DC project at large:
“I can’t say that I was a huge comic book reader. But when I met with Cathy Yan, who’s directing the film, and learned kind of the back story of the character, I was really interested. It’s a really strong, kind of emotional place to start from for a superhero character. I won’t go into too much detail now, but I think it’s interesting and an opportunity to do something cool with this kind of character."
In her typical comic book backstory, Helena Bertinelli was the daughter of one of Gotham City's most prominent mobsters, before her parents were killed when she was still just a teenager. Helena, having already trained for years to protect herself from her family's mafia enemies by that point, thereafter travels abroad in an effort to further study, develop and refine her fighting abilities. Eventually, Helena returns to her home turf of Gotham and takes up crime-fighting as the costumed vigilante Huntress.
Reading between the lines of Winstead's comments, it sounds like the Birds of Prey movie will carry-over the broader strokes of Huntress' traditional backstory. In her interview with The Wrap, Winstead further expressed her confidence in both Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) and screenwriter Christina Hodson (Bumblebeee), as far as their abilities to handle the Huntress character and her origin story are concerned. She added that her time working with so many female creatives on the project has already been a "very different experience" that she's "really happy" about.
All things considered, Birds of Prey appears to be in very good shape at the moment, based on Winstead's comments and the talented involved so far. Casting is actively underway for the film ahead of the start of production early next year, so everyone can look forward to even more Birds of Prey-related updates in the near future.
Source: The Wrap
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