Ewan McGregor's Black Mask could face off against Batman on the big screen in the future. For years, rumors persisted the seasoned actor would return to the Star Wars universe for an Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff movie, but McGregor's instead participating in a different Hollywood franchise. It was just yesterday reports came out about McGregor signing on to play the villainous Black Mask in Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey, a DC Comics film set to release in 2020.
Since it's still fairly early in development, story details about the Birds of Prey movie are hard to come by. However, one interesting factoid about the project is set in a Gotham City that hasn't seen the Dark Knight in a couple of years. As a result, the Birds of Prey (a group consisting of Harley Quinn, Huntress, and Black Canary) form to keep the city safe from threats and rescue Cassandra Crain. With Batman's onscreen future very much up in the air, it's highly unlikely Black Mask crosses paths with the Caped Crusader in Yan's movie. However, the possibility for the two to meet is always open.
The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez took to Twitter to respond to a follower concerned Batman would never do battle against Black Mask. While Gonzalez' post is definitely speculation at this point in time, his words should provide some comfort:
Multi-picture deals are par for the course in the industry, particularly when it comes to tentpoles like DC and Marvel. While McGregor was obviously sold on the Birds of Prey pitch, it's all but a guarantee options for future appearances were part of the deal. As for what those additional movies could be, it's difficult to say at this point in time. In the wake of Justice League's commercial disappointment, Warner Bros. is changing up their DC Films strategy, placing less of an emphasis on interconnected storytelling and building towards the future. Right now, their focus seems to be making quality standalone films that work on their own merits and going from there. McGregor's future as Black Mask likely depends on the reception of Birds of Prey and his performance in particular. If he becomes a fan-favorite, WB will surely be interesting in having him return.
There's also the matter of resolving the Batman issue. By all accounts, Ben Affleck is out and director Matt Reeves is looking for an actor 15-20 years Affleck's junior to fill the cape and cowl for The Batman. Working under the assumption Birds of Prey is set in the present day (Margot Robbie is returning from Suicide Squad, after all), it may not be realistic for the 47-year old McGregor to square off against a younger Dark Knight. But, seeing as there hasn't been much concrete concerning The Batman, it remains plausible Affleck could be convinced to return opposite McGregor.
Source: Umberto Gonzalez
- 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