Birds of Prey Movie Star Confirms Filming Start & Story Details

Birds of Prey Huntress Black Canary casting

Birds of Prey costar Mary Elizabeth Winstead has confirmed the project's filming start date and even offered some plot details. In addition to being the first DC Extended Universe film that's designed to be R rated, Birds of Prey will be the first movie to feature Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn since Suicide Squad came out in 2016. While there are currently several other projects that feature Harley in some stage of development (including, The Joker and Harley Quinn movie), Birds of Prey will be the first one that makes it to the big screen.

As the title implies, however, Birds of Prey isn't a Harley Quinn solo movie. Rather, it's a film that pairs Robbie's character with her fellow DC antiheroes Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Winstead) and Dinah Lance/Black Canary (June Smollett-Bell), as the members of a gang of super-heroines. The movie's cast also includes Rosie Perez as Gotham City detective Renee Montoya, Ewan McGregor as the villainous Black Mask, and newcomer Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain (a character who, in the pages of DC Comics, eventually grows up to take on the Batgirl mantle). Now that most of the film's main cast has been assembled, Winstead is being a bit more open about what, exactly, the Birds of Prey plot entails.

Related: The DCEU Can Start a New Type of Shared Universe

During an interview with Bionic Buzz at the Variety 10 Actors to Watch and Newport Beach Film Festival Fall Honors event this month, Winstead confirmed that Birds of Prey starts filming in early 2019, with a February 2020 release date target. She also spoke a bit about the movie's narrative and cast/characters:

“It’s sort of a spinoff of Suicide Squad. It kind of follows Harley Quinn, which is Margot Robbie’s character from those films, and this sort of girl gang that she puts together. I play Huntress, and we’ve got Black Canary, played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Rosie Perez and Ewan McGregor. It’s a really fun, fun cast. We haven’t started shooting yet, but we start shooting in January, and I can’t wait.”

Harley Quinn Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey marks a first for the DCEU in more ways than one. On top of being its first spinoff (like Winstead noted), this is the first DC Comics film anchored by multiple female superheroes in leading roles, as well as the first to feature both a female writer and director (last year's Wonder Woman, by comparison, featured the latter only). The movie is being scripted by Christina Hodson, an up and comer who also wrote December's Bumblebee spinoff and is currently working on the script for DC's Batgirl film. Meanwhile, Cathy Yan is calling the shots, following her breakout effort as a filmmaker earlier this year on the acclaimed indie comedy-drama Dead Pigs.

As for the film's plot: Winstead's comments line up with what's been reported about Birds of Prey throughout its casting process. The most recent reports on the movie claim that it revolves around the titular team as they attempt to protect Cain from Black Mask, after the former stumbles upon a diamond that belongs to the sadistic Gotham City crime boss. Armed with fewer characters and an R rating, Birds of Prey should be able to deliver the hard-edged DC Comics crime story that many fans wanted from Suicide Squad, but ultimately didn't get from David Ayer's DC film (whether they still liked the movie's theatrical cut or not). For the same reasons, it's already one of 2020's must-see movies for comic book and superhero fans.

MORE: Ewan McGregor's Black Mask Could Battle Batman in the Future

Source: Bionic Buzz

Key Release Dates
  • Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
  • 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
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